Lakha Sidhana, Wanted For R-Day Clash, Seen In Punjab Chief Minister's Village

23 February 2021 03:54 PM
  • Lakha Sidhana, Wanted For R-Day Clash, Seen In Punjab Chief Minister's Village

Chandigarh: Lakha Sidhana, the gangster-activist wanted by Delhi Police in connection with the violence at the Red Fort in Delhi last month, was spotted at a rally in Punjab's Mehraj village today. The rally, called for by Sidhana himself, was to show support for farmers protesting the agriculture laws and demand the release of those arrested by the police.

"If Delhi Police comes to arrest anyone in Punjab, villagers will gherao (surround) them," Sidhana said at today's rally, referring to speculation authorities from the national capital would attempt to cross state borders to capture their suspect.

Sidhana, who also goes by the name Lakhbir Singh, allegedly instigated protesters to turn violent during the tractor rally in the national capital on Republic Day, which saw hundreds of protesters clashed with police in and around the city, including the iconic 400-year-old Red Fort complex.

In a video posted on Facebook on Friday, Sidhana had asked people to turn up in large numbers to show their support for the protesting farmers.

"We have been agitating for the last seven months. Now, this protest is at its peak and in this connection, we are holding a big programme in village Mehraj in district Bathinda on February 23," Sidhana said in the video.

Sidhana faces at least 10 criminal cases, including land-grab and murder, in Punjab. He had been in and out of jail several times.

There had been some doubt whether Sidhana himself would be present at the rally, given that he is wanted by Delhi Police, who announced a reward of ₹ 1 lakh for information on his whereabouts.

Farmer union leaders have distanced themselves from both Sidhana and Deep Sidhu, the Punjabi actor also accused of inciting clashes during the tractor rally.

The farmers are holding their mahapanchayats in Sirsa and Fatehabad districts of Haryana.

Farmers across the country have been protesting against the centre's laws since late-November, when thousands of them drove tractors to Delhi; they have since been joined by tens of thousands more, who have been camped around the borders of the national capital.

After eleven rounds of failed talks they took out a tractor rally in parts of Delhi - for which permission was given by Delhi Police on condition that only certain routes are followed.

However, on the day of the rally, a large group of protesters deviated from the planned route and eventually clashed with the police. Farmer leaders have accused Deep Sidhu and others of instigating these clashes and derailing their peaceful protest.

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