New Delhi: Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu who was an wanted in the January 26 Red Fort violence case.
Sidhu was absconding ever since as the police searched for him in various places in Punjab and Haryana and even declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh on him.
"We have arrested the wanted-accused Deep Sidhu," said Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, DCP Special Cell.
The Delhi Police had announced the cash reward of Rs 1 lakh each for information on Deep Sidhu, Jugraj Singh, Gurjot Singh and Gurjant Singh; and Rs 50,000 each on Jajbir Singh, Buta Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Iqbal Singh for their alleged involvement in the Republic Day violence that saw at least one person die and several injured, including policemen.
Police would now probe where he got shelter since January 26 and who all provided it. Those who provided shelter to him could also face legal action.
Another co-accused Sukhdev Singh was earlier arrested from Chandigarh.
Sidhu on January 31 uploaded a video on his verified Facebook account. In the 15 minute-long video message, titled 'straight from my soul', he was seen giving an emotional statement in Punjabi, which loosely translates to: "I am being defamed... I had left my whole life behind, and come here to join the Punjabis in their protest. But now I am being labelled a traitor."
"All I did was raise a voice for your rights. For so many months, I have been meeting everyone on roads, in tents. Now a single man is being made a traitor," he said addressing the hundreds of farmers, who have been sitting in protests at Delhi's borders since November 26 against the three contentious farm laws.
Within two hours of uploading, it was viewed 19,000 times and received 11,000 comments.
Sidhu, along with gangster-turned-social activist Lakha Sidhana, was named the main accused in the Delhi violence.
Sidhana is a gangster-turned-politician and was acquitted in several cases before contesting the 2012 assembly polls as a candidate of the People's Party of Punjab, once led by Manpreet Singh Badal, who is currently the Finance Minister in the Congress government in Punjab.
Farmer leaders had distanced themselves from both Sidhu and Sidhana and blamed them for inciting violence.
However, Sidhu, blaming the farmer union leaders of taking decisions without consulting the people and defending himself, in his latest video, said: "I am seeing that false propaganda and hatred is being spread against me."
"Thousands of people had reached there (the Red Fort), but no farmer leader was present there. Nobody indulged in violence or damaged any public property. They put up the Nishan Sahib and a farmer flag at the flagpole to register their protest," he said.
"Many people were carrying Nishan Sahib flags, farmer flags and the tricolour. If you say by doing so I have turned traitor, then those who were present there were traitors too," Sidhu added.
Born in 1984 in Punjab's Muktsar district, Sidhu, who has been associated with the agitation against the three contentious farm laws, has studied law.
His first Punjabi movie, "Ramta Jogi", was released in 2015. His second movie, "Jora Das Numbria", in 2018 was a hit.