Did not incite R-day violence, rather helped police: Sidhu in court


Actor-activist Deep Sidhu, arrested in connection with the Red Fort violence on Republic Day, has moved the court seeking fair and impartial investigation in the case by the agencies, asserting that he did not incite violence, rather helped police to pacify the crowd.

On January 26, protesting farmers had clashed with the police during the tractor rally against three farm laws. During the clash, a section of protesters had entered the Red Fort and hoisted a religious flag. Police arrested Sidhu on February 9 and said that he instigated the violence and was the key conspirator.

Sidhu, through an application moved by his counsel Abhishek Gupta, showed his apprehension about the fair and impartial investigation by the agencies.

He told the court that he was at a hotel in Murthal till 12 p.m. on the day of violence and reached the Red Fort at 2 p.m.

“Huge crowd had already gathered at the spot before the accused reached there,” he stated in the application, adding he had asked police to check these claims by obtaining his phone location and data from car navigation system but “agency has chosen not to check it”.

The accused further said that the CCTV footage of the Red Fort, already with the investigating agency, shows that he did not participate in violence and rather helped the police in pacifying the crowd. “The accused is apprehensive that the CCTV footage and the video will also not be considered.”

His counsel told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gajendra Singh Nagar that he has the power to order registration of FIR and order a proper investigation if he is satisfied that investigation is compromised.

“Media trial has happened, and the story woven around me is that I’m the main person. Every time the investigating agency comes and submits that while seeking custody,” he added.

He is facing charges of rioting, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, dacoity, culpable homicide among various other sections of the Indian Penal Code. On February 23, the court sent him to the Tihar Jail for 14 days.–IANS