Hearing a plea by Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, arrested in connection with the Red Fort violence on Republic Day, a Delhi court on Friday, 26 February, said that the police collects evidence not only to prove the accused’s guilt but also to paint a clear picture of the incident, according to PTI.
Sidhu had moved Delhi’s Tis Hazari court seeking fair and impartial investigation in the case, asserting that he did not incite violence, but rather helped police to pacify the crowd.
At the hearing, the court on Friday said that the investigating officer is duty bound to conduct a proper investigation in the matter in a fair and impartial manner.
According to PTI, the court however, said that appropriate action would be taken and relevant sections added to the charges if it was found that the actor-activist was trying to mislead the investigation by fabricating evidence.
Sidhu was arrested by the Delhi Police on 9 February in connection with the Republic Day violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi and later remanded to a seven-day police custody. The court had on 16 February, extended his police custody by seven days, after the expiry of the originally ordered seven-day police remand.
Later, on 23 February, he was sent to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with the case, as his seven-day police custody ended.
What Does the Plea State?
Sidhu, through an application moved by his counsel Abhishek Gupta, has now showed his apprehension about the fair and impartial investigation by the agencies, reports IANS.
According to the report, he told the court that he was at a hotel in Murthal till 12 pm on the day of violence and reached the Red Fort at 2 pm.
"Huge crowd had already gathered at the spot before the accused reached there," he stated in the application. He also claimed that he had asked the police to check these claims by obtaining his phone location and data from car navigation system but the "agency has chosen not to check it".
In his application, Sidhu further said that the CCTV footage of the Red Fort, already with the investigating agency, shows that he did not participate in violence and rather helped the police in pacifying the crowd.
"“The accused is apprehensive that the CCTV footage and the video will also not be considered.”" - Sidhu in his application
His counsel told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gajendra Singh Nagar that he has the power to order registration of FIR and order a proper investigation if he is satisfied that investigation is compromised.
“Media trial has happened, and the story woven around me is that I’m the main person. Every time the investigating agency comes and submits that while seeking custody,” he added.
Sidhu faces charges of rioting, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, dacoity, culpable homicide, among others.
Who Is Deep Sidhu?
Sidhu was one of the first celebrity voices at the fore of the farmers’ protest that started in November 2020 against the Centre’s contentious new farm laws.
Sidhu had earlier admitted to raising the Nishan Sahib flag at the Red Fort during the 26 January unrest in Delhi, following which farm union leaders accused him of provoking farmers to change the designated route of the tractor rally and march to the Red Fort.
Several farm leaders accused him of being planted by the BJP to derail the movement and give the protests a violent turn in order to defame them.
After a video of Sidhu being chased by protesting farmers at the protest site went viral, he was claimed to be absconding. However, according to reports, Sidhu told the police that the reason for him having been in hiding was because “his life was at risk”.
(With inputs from IANS.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.‘Govt Too Arrogant About Being in Power’: UP Farmers on Farm LawsPolice Collect Proof for Real Picture: Court on Deep Sidhu’s Plea . Read more on India by The Quint.