Actor-Activist Deep Sidhu Named In Case On Tractor Rally Violence: 10 Points

“Deep Sidhu is the government’s man,” a farmer leader alleged

New Delhi:
Actor-activist Deep Sidhu, whom farmers have accused of being responsible for the unprecedented violence during the Republic Day tractor rally, has been named in a case filed by the Delhi Police, sources told NDTV. A handful of farmer leaders have also been named in the 25-plus cases filed by the police since Tuesday evening. While the police is holding farmers responsible for violating the agreed rules of the tractor rally, which they say led to clashes in parts of the city, the farmers have said there was a conspiracy to sabotage and malign their peaceful protest. The farmers have suspended their plans to march to parliament on Budget Day. The Red Fort, where a farmers’ group had stormed in on Tuesday afternoon, has been temporarily shut.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. A section of farm leaders have accused Punjabi actor and activist Deep Sidhu of instigating the clashes and planting a Sikh religious flag at the Red Fort. “Deep Sidhu was boycotted by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha months ago because of his separatist leanings. I condemn hoisting of any flag other than the nation’s at the Red Fort,” said Yogendra Yadav, who is one of the key leaders of the movement. “Deep Sidhu is the government’s man. We need to understand this conspiracy,” a farmer leader said.  

  2. The Delhi Police is investigating farmer leaders as part of their probe into the violence on Republic Day at a tractor rally organized by farmers protesting against the Centre’s contentious farm laws. Notice has been sent to farmer leader Darshan Pal of Samyukt Kisan Morcha for alleged violation of the agreement with the police regarding the route and time of the rally.

  3. The key pan-India farmers’ group has reiterated the “conspiracy” angle and distanced themselves from Tuesday’s violence. “The government is trying to break the movement. I don’t expect another round of talks with the government anytime soon,” said Darshan Pal at the Singhu border today. Farmer leader Rakesh Singh Tikait said the police have helped miscreants to enter the Red Fort. “This was an attempt to malign the farmers’ protest,” he added.  

  4. In its first official reaction today, the government denounced the unprecedented violence. “Action should be against all of those who instigated others. India won’t tolerate the manner in which the Tricolour was insulted at the Red Fort,” said Union minister Prakash Javadekar, citing the incident where protesters who managed to get inside the Red Fort hoisted a Sikh religious flag, or Nishan Sahib”, on an empty mast. Accusing the Congress of instigating the farmers, he said, “The Congress wants to create a situation of unrest in the country”

  5. The Congress said Union Home Minister Amit Shah was responsible for the violence and should be “sacked immediately”. “A concerted conspiracy, aided and abetted by the Modi government is unfolding to malign the entire farmers’ movement and to push them out and bury the demand for repeal of the three anti-agriculture black laws under the din and noise of FIRs,” senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters.

  6. At a press conference this evening, Delhi police commissioner S N Srivastava said farmer unions did not follow the conditions set for the tractor rally that was supposed to be held from noon to 5 pm or follow the designated route. “We are using the facial recognition system and taking the help of CCTV and video footage to identify the accused. Strict action will be taken against those identified. No culprit will be spared,” he said.

  7. Nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the violence in which 394 police personnel have been injured, the Delhi Police said. Fifty people have been detained and are being questioned. Action has been taken against 300-odd Twitter accounts since Tuesday’s violence. The Delhi Police said they have acted promptly on “intelligence inputs”.

  8. The iconic Red Fort, built by the Mughals, will be shut till January 31, the Archaelogical Survey of India has said. There have been reports of damages to some structures inside the fort after hundreds of protesters entered the fort on Tuesday. Videos from the spot showed them walking on the ramparts, from where Prime Ministers address the nation on Independence Day.  

  9. The farmers, who received permission to hold the rally at a designated time and route – had deviated from it, triggering clashes with the police. The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee had refused to stick to the route. The farmers broke barriers at the three borders from where the rally was to start – Singhu, Tikri and Ghaziabad. A group went to the Red Fort, where they raised a religious flag.  

  10. Farmers fear the new laws will deprive them of guaranteed minimum earnings and leave them open to exploitation by big business. Eleven rounds of talks have been held between the farmers and the government, but there been no breakthrough. The farmers have turned down the Centre’s last offer to put the laws on hold for 18 months while a special committee conducts negotiations.


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