Updated: February 4, 2021 11:28:09 am
FAMILY AND friends of Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu claim they have no knowledge about his whereabouts ever since Delhi Police issued a lookout notice against him for the incident at Red Fort on Republic Day.
Meanwhile, Sidhu has been uploading videos, wrapped in a brown shawl with a matching cap, saying it was a trap set up by the union leaders, and lamenting that he had been “labeled a traitor for fighting for the rights of farmers”.
In the latest video uploaded on Wednesday morning, he called Nishan Sahib a way of life and slammed farmer union leaders for distancing themselves from it. At one point, he called one a union leader a “comrade”.
In another video uploaded two days ago, an emotional Sidhu claimed he had taken refuge with some workers from Bihar. He alleged that he was singled out of “five lakh” people present at the Red Fort and labeled a “gaddaar” (traitor) despite working for the farmers. He also mentioned his late father, a lawyer and farmer, and warned that he would not take lightly the aspersions being cast on his father.
In yet another video uploaded on Tuesday, Sidhu spoke in English, reading out sporadically from a sheaf of papers in his hand and defending his role.
Deep Sidhu’s uncle Bhidhi Singh, said Sidhu had left a life of luxury in Mumbai to join the agitation first at the Shambhu border in Patiala and then at Singhu. “I had told him that that politics comes with consequences,” said Singh, adding that the last few days have been tough for the family. “But now I think it is over. Now people have seen the real face of those who tried to make him the scapegoat.”
Mumbai-based Amardeep Gill, a well-known Punjabi filmmaker who launched Sidhu in his movie ‘Jora Das Numbaria’ said, “Deep Sidhu’s mother died when he was a child. He is a self-made person. He was living in Mumbai for the last 15 years and had a very successful career as a lawyer and model due to which he became close to the Deol family.”
Gill claimed that Sidhu was moved by the farmers’ agitation and joined it.
‘I am within 10 km radius of protest site’
In his latest video, Deep Sidhu claimed he within a 10-km radius of the Singhu protest site.
“I will prove everything. I have all the evidence to expose the lies. I will represent myself in court. I can come to morcha. But I don’t want any trouble between my supporters and others. Otherwise I am not 10 km away from morcha site. I can come there. But right now our focus should be on protest morcha. I will prove my innocence but first it is must that we win this fight. But I have regret for those people who couldn’t stand for Nishan Sahib hoisted on a vacant pole.”
He further said, “We can’t fight the battle bases on lies. Start acknowledging the truth. I just got to know they have arrested our youth, let’s get them out on priority, let’s stay united and fight this. Navreet from Uttar Pradesh is martyred. Farmer unions should had declared him martyr. All should stand with family.”
Panchayat passes resolution in Deep Sidhu’s support
Meanwhile, the panchayat of Deep Sidhu’s ancestral village of Udekaran in Muktsar passed a resolution in his support and warned people against calling him a traitor.
Villagers of Basarke also announced from gurdwaras that Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana and Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher are not traitors and the village is with them.
Udekaran Sarpanch Manga Singh said, “Our panchayat has passed a resolution in support of Deep Sidhu. We are with him. He is not a traitor. I have never met him but his extended family still lives in the village.”
Both Bhidhi Singh and Amardeep Gill said they have had no contact with Sidhu since January 26.
Lakha Sidhana surfaces from Punjab
Meanwhile, speaking “on behalf of Punjab”, Lakha Sidhana, who is wanted by Delhi Police in relation with the Republic Day events, uploaded a video of him on Facebook Wednesday while speaking allegedly from a gurdwara in Punjab.
While it is not clear from which gurdwara he was speaking, he gave a call to people to reach Delhi.
“History mentions those who confront for their rights. So it is time for all to reach Delhi,” said Lakha in his video.
“Main Punjab Bolda (I am Punjab speaking),” said Lakha Sidhana at the start of the 13-minute video.
He made an emotional appeal “on behalf of Punjab” and ask people to “stand for their rights”.
Earlier, Lakha had also uploaded a video from the Singhu protest site saying that some people were calling him a traitor.
“I am here at Singhu. Some people are trying to instigate me by calling me a traitor. But I am silent because my focus is on morcha,” he had said in thevideo.
Lakha Sidana and Deep Sidhu both had returned to the Singhu morcha on the evening of Republic Day. Deep Sidhu had to run from the morcha after some people tried to nab him. However, Lakha stayed at the morcha though he was also called a traitor from the Singhu stage.
This is Lakha’s first video uploaded since Republic Day from Punjab. Otherwise he uploaded videos from Singhu Morcha site.
Jugraj Singh also getting local support, but kin afraid
Meanwhile, members of Sikh bodies have been visiting the residence of Jughraj Singh, who has been accused of hoisting the Nishan Sahib at Red Fort.
However, only Jugraj’s grandparents are at his home. His parents have gone to a relative’s house since Republic Day.
“Police was harassing his family. So Jugraj’s parents have shifted to an unknown place. But grandparents are at home. Family is disturbed after the incident,” said a relative.
The villagers are supportive and sympathetic towards the family.
Village Sarpanch Sukhpreet Kaur said, “Jugraj had no bad intention. He used to climb up Nishan Sahib pole in village gurdwara. Others were also trying to climb Nishan Sahib but they couldn’t climb. It was an easy job for Jugraj. So he did it. He hoisted Nishan Sahib. It was not Khalistan flag. Village sympathy is with family.
There is no anger against the family in the village.”
“Jugraj Singh did nothing wrong. He broke no law. What is wrong in hoisting Nishan Sahib at Red Fort? It was not the first time Nishan Sahib was hoisted at Red Fort. Government is making issue of nothing to harrass the family. I don’t know why Punjab Police is after family when case is with Delhi Police,” said Harpal Singh, local leader of Shiromani Akali Dal, Amritsar.
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