Who is Deep Sidhu?
New Delhi, Jan 27: Actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu has been accusing of instigating the otherwise 'peaceful' movement into a violent protest.
A symbolic protest by farmers on Republic day against the Centre's three farm laws turned into anarchy on the streets of the city as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.
The actor, who has been associated with the farmers' agitation for the last many months, was present during the incident, sought to defend their action, saying they did not remove the national flag and had put up the 'Nishan Sahib' as a symbolic protest.
The flag represents the country's "unity in diversity", he said while pointing towards 'Nishan Sahib', the triangular saffron flag with the emblem of 'Khanda', a two-edged sword, Chakra, a disc, and two Kirpans that cross each other at the handles.
He stated that the national flag was not removed from the flagpole at the Red Fort and that nobody raised a question over the country's unity and integrity.
Leaders across the political spectrum condemned the violence and the Red Fort incident, with the Congress' Shashi Tharoor saying he supported the farmers' protests from the start but cannot condone "lawlessness".
Who is Deep Sidhu?
Deep Sidhu is an Indian actor, who predominantly works Hindi and Punjabi movies. Born in 1984 in Punjab's Muktsar district, Sidhu studied law and was also a part of the Bar for a brief period before he won the Kingfisher Model Hunt award.
He made debut in the film industry with a Punjabi film Ramta Jogi which is produced by critically acclaimed actor Dharmendra under his banner Vijayta Films.
The actor is also seen as an aide of Bollywood actor Sunny Deol. He campaigned Deol during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign when the actor was contesting elections from the Gurdaspur seat of Punjab.
After the tractor rally violence, Sidhu's photo with the now BJP MP Sunny Deol and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also went viral post the Republic Day violence.
However, Deol has distanced himself from Sidhu and had said he and his families have no association with Sidhu.
Deol tweeted, "My heart is very sad to see what happened on the Red Fort today, I have already clarified this through Twitter on December 6. I am that my or my family has no connection with Deep Sidhu. Jai Hind."
It may be recalled that Deep Sidhu have been summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning on January 17 in a case related to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ's) Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, a designated terrorist, for conspiring to create an "atmosphere of fear and lawlessness and to cause disaffection in people against Government of India".