NEW DELHI: Farmer leaders have alleged that Punjabi singer and actor Deep Sidhu instigated protesters and led them to the iconic Red Fort and hoisted flags in the 17th-century monument.
Famous for his role as a gangster in the Punjabi film ‘Jora Das Numberia’ in 2018, the 36-year-old was one of the first celebrities to support farmers when they took to the roads against the three laws.
Sidhu, who claims to be a supporter of strengthening the federal structure to give more rights to states, has long been openly quoting Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Last month, the NIA registered a case against Sikhs for Justice and had also issued notices to Sidhu and his brother Mandeep Singh.
Considered close to Sikh ideologue Ajmer Singh, Sidhu practised as a lawyer before joining the show business in 2015.
Sidhu also did a Facebook live while hoisting the pennant from the ramparts of the Red Fort. In the video, Sidhu said in Punjabi, "We have only hoisted the Nishan Sahib flag on the Red Fort while exercising our democratic right to protest."
Deep Sidhu belong to Muktsar in Punjab and had held a prolonged protest at the Shambhu border between Punjab and Haryana, where accusations of Khalistani elements running the protests had been made.
During the Lok Sabha elections in May 2019, Deep Sidhu was in the news for being close to Bollywood actor-politician Sunny Deol, who contested from Gurdaspur as a BJP candidate. However, Deol distanced himself from Sidhu in a tweet, saying he or his family had no relationship with him.
आज लाल क़िले पर जो हुआ उसे देख कर मन बहुत दुखी हुआ है, मैं पहले भी, 6 December को ,Twitter के माध्यम से यह साफ कर… https://t.co/X4YBSUmpkL— Sunny Deol (@iamsunnydeol) 1611679589000
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".
Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav, who is among the leaders spearheading the agitation against the farm laws, said Sidhu had been disassociated "from our protest right from the beginning".