Actor turned activist Deep Sidhu arrested after he gets bail

Last Modified Saturday, 17 April 2021 (22:37 IST)
New Delhi:Punjabi actor-activist Deep Sidhu, was granted bail on Saturday by a Delhi court in connection with the Republic Day violence, but arrested again by the Delhi police in a fresh case over the damage caused to the historic Red Fort during the violence.
As per reports, an FIR was lodged against Sidhu by the Delhi police over a complaint by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for damaging the property of the Red Fort during the violence.
A group of people had barged into the Red Fort, damaged the property and planted a religious flag at rampart of the fort on January 26.The ASI is a government body that maintains and protects several places of historical importance across the country.
 
Earlier in the day, the Delhi Court granted bail to Sidhu in connection with a case of inciting violence. The 37-year-old actor was detained on February 9 by the Delhi Police from the Karnal Highway in Haryana and has been behind bars since then.
 
Sidhu in his bail plea claimed that though he went to the Red Fort but left the place before the violence. Sidhu also stated that he even tried to pacify the crowd which had turned unruly.
 
He said he never gave a call to the protestors to march towards the Red Fort as 'framed' by the police and mere presence at the historic place doesn't make him a member of the unlawful assembly.The actor said the slogan "Jo Bole So Nihaal" is religious and questioned how raising this slogan can be considered inciteful.
 
On the other hand, prosecution alleged that Sidhu, in various videos shot before the violence, has been found asking the people to reach Red Fort. "26 tareekh aarahe hai, zyaada se zyaada log jao. Apne gharon se tractor lao (26th is coming, more and more people go. Bring tractors from your home)", was one of his statements, the prosecution alleged.
 
The prosecution alleged that Sidhu had an agenda to defame India nationally and internationally. If Red Fort was not there in the prescribed tractor parade then why they broke the route and reached there, the prosecution questioned.
 
Also, the violence at the Red Fort occurred after when Sidhu reached there, it alleged and urged for rejection of bail plea.
 
Rejecting the prosecution appeal for an extension of remand, Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen, who had reserved the bail plea on Monday, said, "The prosecution's case rests largely and on the contents of video recordings and footage available and accessible to all on social media sites in public domain, and there is, therefore, a remote possibility of the accused-applicant being able to interfere with the content on such platform."
 
Approving the bail, the court said, 'It would violate and infringe the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed to the accused, if the accused is denied bail in the present case on such nature of accusations and material only on the grounds that the investigating agency is yet to establish the identity of several other members of the unlawful assembly.'
 
Tens of thousands of people had come on the streets of the national capital on Republic Day on foot, tractors or personal vehicles to protest against the new farm laws. Several among them clashed with the police while some reached the Red Fort, vandalised the place and planted a religious flag at the rampart. One person died in the violence while several were injured.(UNI)