Syed Khalique Ahmed
NEW DELHI—Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav has held Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu and KMSS (Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti) leaders of Punjab responsible for the violence in Delhi on the Republic Day. He alleged Sidhu was known for “separatism” and his “Khalistani tendency”.
In a video that he circulated on the media on Wednesday, Yadav, whose name finds mention in the FIR lodged by the Delhi police against farm leaders in connection with the violence, said Sidhu worked for BJP candidate Sunny Deol during the last Parliamentary elections and that explained who Sidhu is.
“There are photographs of Sidhu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7, Race Course Road where entry to ordinary people is not possible. Only those very close to (PM) are allowed entry there”, said Yadav.
Questioning police as to why did the police allow Sidhu to enter the historic Red Fort, Yadav said that Sidhu was speaking from a public address system on the ramparts of the Red Fort. “How was this possible?”, Yadav questioned.
“He (Sidhu) was on the forefront of the violence in Lal Qila. Why was he allowed to enter the Lal Qila with public address system? How did it happen?”, asked Yadav.
Stating that the “sabotage was deliberate”, soft-spoken Swaraj Abhiyan leader said, “What happened on Republic Day in tractor rally, what happened at Lal Qila, was ‘desh-droh’ (anti-national) and ‘kisan-droh’ (anti-farmer) activity”.
“We can’t remain soft towards such elements any more. We can’t tolerate them. There are many who want to provoke farmers towards extremism and terrorism. We have to keep them away, otherwise this movement will not sustain”, said Yadav.
He clarifed that neither Sidhu nor KMSS were part of the 32 farm unions of Punjab agitating against three bills for the last four months. The Sanmyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) spearheading the movement demanding repeal of the three farm laws never allowed KMSS leaders and workers to sit on dharna at Singhu border because of their attitude and behaviour.
“While those protesting against the farm laws used to sit on the Haryana side of the border and KMSS workers used to sit on the other side, that is, Delhi side of the Singhu border where Delhi police was on security duty. The question is : “Why did the Delhi police allow them to sit there?”, stated Yadav.
He said that on January 25, SKM decided to organize tractor parade on the designated routes allowed by the Delhi police. “But KMSS leaders declared that they will not accept SKM decision and said that they will enter Delhi. From their attitude, it was clear that they want to indulge in violence”, alleged Yadav.
Yadav said, “We requested them to maintain discipline for a day at least for farmers and requested them not to create chaos on the Republic Day. Police and administration knew about it all”.
Strongly objecting to the hoisting of Nishan Sahib at the ramparts of the Red Fort, Yadav said, “Nishan sahib does not suit Lal Qila. It suits Gurudwaras”.
He said that Sidhu wanted to participate in the farmers’ protest at Ambala with his group two months ago but the Punjab farmers did not allow him.
Stating that the leadership of the protesting farmers would have to take the moral responsibility for what had happened on the Republic Day during tractor rally though the protesting farmers were peaceful, he claimed that the Republic Day tractor parade had provided power and energy to the farmers movement against the three controversial farm laws. “But many people want to break the movement and we need to counter them”, he said.