Wanted for R-Day violence, Lakha Sidhana says not running away from arrest

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Sangrur (Pb), Apr 9 (PTI) Gangster-turned-social activist Lakha Sidhana, who is wanted in connection with the Republic Day violence in the national capital, resurfaced again on Friday, telling reporters if the government wants to arrest him, he is not running away.

Sidhana moved in a open vehicle with his supporters, telling TV journalist here that he is going to join the farmers blocking the Haryana’s Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in protest against Centre’s farm laws on Saturday.

Farmers have threatened to block the expressway for 24 hours from 8 am on April 10.

When asked if he fears his arrest, Sidhana said, 'The government often registers false cases whenever there is a big agitation. They use such tactics to weaken the agitation. There is nothing new in this.' 'If the government wants to arrest me, I am not running away. But the main thing is that this agitation has to succeed,' he added.

Sidhana said the agitation against the farm laws is a matter of saving farmers of the country. 'All states are united in the fight for the farmers' cause,' he said.

He also accused the Centre of attempting to end the age-old relationship between farmers and 'arhtiyas' (commission agents) through its direct benefit transfer scheme.

“More anti-farmer things are on the anvil, including a seed bill,” he alleged. Lakha Sidhana is wanted in connection with the Republic Day violence in New Delhi during which thousands of protesters had clashed with police during a tractor parade. Many protesters reached the Red Fort and hoisted religious flags on its domes.

In February, Sidhana had addressed a farmers' rally in Bathinda, warning the Punjab Police against cooperating with the Delhi Police.

Sidhana had earlier denied involvement in the Republic Day violence. He had several cases registered against him in Punjab and was jailed many times. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 state assembly polls. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK