Actor-activist Deep Sidhu on Monday opposed his four-day police custody on a first information report filed by the Archaeological Survey of India, saying that the Delhi Police were “acting like emperors” and demanded departmental action against them, reported The Indian Express.
The FIR by the Archaeological Survey of India was lodged in connection with the violence at the Red Fort during the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day. The complaint was filed on charges of damaging the monument.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gajender Singh Nagar will give the judgement in the case at 4 pm on Monday. Sidhu’s bail application will be heard on April 23.
Sidhu was granted bail in connection with the first FIR lodged in connection with the Red Fort violence on April 17. However, the next day, he was remanded to one-day judicial custody by the duty magistrate of the Tihar Jail.
The magistrate ordered Sidhu to be produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate on Monday. During Monday’s hearing, advocate Abhishek Gupta, appearing for Sidhu, told the court that his client was granted bail in the first case on merit and demanded his immediate release.
Gupta told the court that the allegations in both the FIRs were identical. He said that the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police has already done custodial interrogation in the first FIR and that the entire case was based on videos available on social media.
“This arrest is illegal, it is malafide,” Gupta said. “They want to negate the order of the bail. Today they are seeking police remand. This is a grave upfront to the rights of the individual. Why did they not arrest me all this while?... Departmental action should be taken against such officers.”
The court asked why the police did not arrest Sidhu before he was granted bail, reported Bar & Bench. To this, the prosecution replied that it was the prerogative of the investigating agency. “As far as right to take police custody is concerned, law is clear that IO [investigating officer] has the right to take police custody to do proper investigation,” the prosecution said.
Red Fort violence
Sidhu was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell on February 9 in connection with the first case. The police alleged that the 36-year-old actor entered the Red Fort with swords, sticks and flags on January 26 and gave speeches to incite violence.
At least one protestor was killed and over 300 police officers were injured after a section of farmers protesting against the government’s agriculture laws took to the streets of Delhi on tractors, horses and on foot to call for the repeal of the legislations. Protestors broke through barricades and poured into the city, clashing with a police force that tried to push them back with tear gas and a baton charge.
One group of protestors forced their way into the Red Fort. A few protestors also climbed a flagstaff and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, a religious flag that flies atop gurudwaras.
The Delhi Police registered a criminal case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and invoked sedition charges in connection with the violence at Red Fort.
Thousands of farmers have camped outside Delhi since November, demanding that the Centre repeal the three laws that open up the country’s agriculture markets to private companies. In January, the Supreme Court had suspended the implementation of the farm laws until further orders.