Arrested under the charges of playing a role in ‘Red Fort violence’ on January 26 in Delhi, film actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu was seen in Chardi Kala (high spirit), and carrying a diary in his hands in the court. The court session was held today to hear his bail application on Thursday. However, the court adjourned the matter on April 12.
Before the hearing, Deep’s supporters expected that he would be granted bail today because the allegations made by Delhi Police against him fell flat. Many of the Sikh activists and his well-wishers had gathered at the court’s premises to hear the good news. Though the matter was adjourned on April 12, they were happy to see Deep Sidhu in a good mood and have a quick chat with him.
As the cops brought him to the court premises, his body language was telling that he was in a high spirit. His aide and Sikh writer Sukhpreet Singh Udoke also met him there. “He was in a delighted mood when he was talking to me. He started his conversation with a couplet of legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He told us loudly that he was reading a book of a poet. Then, he expressed his pain by uttering a German proverb, ‘Give a dog a bad name and hang him’. He also recalled some memories of being part of the farmer agitation,” said Udhoke.
Udhoke said that Sidhu was writing a book on this entire episode. Apart from his brother advocate Mandeep Singh Sidhu, former Sikh militant Baba Bakhshish Singh, Manjit Singh, and many others were also present to meet him.
Meanwhile, his legal counsels told that Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen, who was hearing Sidhu’s bail plea, sought transcription of the speech delivered by Sidhu on the eve of tractor parade against three farm laws on January 26 from the main stage of the agitation going on at borders of Delhi. The judge wants to know if Sidhu had used words that provoke or incite violence.
The Indian Express has reported the arguments given by Sidhu’s lawyer Abhishek Gupta. It quotes Gupta as saying, “right to protest was a fundamental right”.
“The only allegation against me is that I went on Facebook and raised slogans. The slogans raised are usually raised in the gurdwaras in the country… the Sikh community raises them. These are spiritual slogans. How do they instigate people?” Gupta spoke to the court.
During the tractor parade, the agitating farmers reached Red Fort, and they hoisted ‘Nishan Sahib’ (Khalsa flag) there. The Delhi Police stated in the FIRs registered against hundreds of the farmers that the agitators turned violent and injured them. Sidhu was termed as prime accused of this alleged violence.
So, Sidhu was arrested for several offenses under the Indian Penal Code, including rioting (147 and 148), unlawful assembly (149), attempt to murder (120-B), criminal conspiracy (120-B), assaulting or obstructing public servant (152), dacoity (395), culpable homicide (308) and disobedience to order promulgated by a public servant (188) and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
Sidhu’s brother said, “Hopefully, my brother will get the bail during the next hearing as our arguments were much stronger”.