Farmers' Tractor Rally: Actor Deep Sidhu on Facebook posted a clarification about his role.
New Delhi: A Punjabi actor who gained prominence because of his role in film star-turned-BJP MP Sunny Deol's 2019 Lok Sabha campaign has become hugely controversial after clashes on Republic Day during a farmers' tractor rally in Delhi. Deep Sidhu has been blamed by several farmer leaders for tainting their protests against farm laws with the breach of Red Fort. The actor-activist was allegedly at the centre of the Red Fort storming by farmers armed with sticks and on tractors. In a Facebook post, Deep Sidhu has defended the planting of a "Nishan Sahib" or Sikh religious flag at the iconic monument.Here are 10 facts about actor Deep Sidhu:
The Punjabi actor from Muktsar district and became a star with his 2018 film "Jora Das Numbria".
He was considered close to Sunny Deol until the Bollywood actor and BJP MP distanced himself and his family from Deep Sidhu in social media posts.
When the farmers' protests against three central laws started in Punjab last year, Deep was among the many Punjabi actors and singers who mobilised youth across the state. He started sharing his views on his Facebook page.
He is believed to have played a role in diverting the tractor rally from the agreed route and then led the storming of Red Fort.
Afterwards, he reportedly returned to the Singhu border - the epicenter of the two-month protests - and was heckled by farmers who accused him of misleading protesters.
Deep Sidhu first took an active role in the protests when a bandh was called on September 25 by farmers' bodies.
He and other artistes and activists gave a call for a sit-in protest at the Shambu border point between Delhi and Haryana. The unexpected turnout overshadowed all other protests.
Deep Sidhu then started a permanent sit-in at Shambu, gaining attention. With his rising popularity was viewed by some farmers' unions as a threat to their agenda; they accused him of using his stardom to divert attention from the actual problem.
Many farm unions allege he is an agent of the ruling BJP because of his association with Sunny Deol.
He is known to quote Martin Luther King and Sikh separatist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. His speeches are said to be focused on the demand for more rights for states.