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Sunday, October 1, 2023

R-Day violence accused is Sanyukt Samaj Morcha candidate in Punjab

Gangster-turned-activist Lakha Sidhana, who is accused in the 2021 Republic Day violence case, is the candidate of Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a political front of farmer unions, from Punjab’s Maur constituency in Bathinda district for the February 20 Assembly polls.

Earlier, leaders of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha distanced themselves from the programmes organised by 40-year-old Sidhana against the now repealed three contentious agricultural laws after the tractor parade by farmer unions on Republic Day last year.

However, Sidhana, also known as Lakhbir Singh, has denied the charges of instigating the protesters to climb the Red Fort.

Sidhana, who was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information about him, was booked by the Delhi Police for instigating violence. The case is pending against him.

Since November 25, 2020, he had been quite active in the agitation on the borders of the national capital and aggressively lobbying for the agitation to gain momentum. In fact, he was dreaming of making big in politics through the farmers’ agitation.

Sidhana, a small-time gangster who aims to enter politics by reflecting himself a social activist, was acquitted in several cases before contesting the 2012 Assembly polls as a candidate of the People’s Party of Punjab, once led by Manpreet Singh Badal, who is currently the Finance Minister in the state’s Congress government, from Rampura Phul constituency.

He polled 10,065 votes.

Farmer leaders had, in fact, distanced themselves from Sidhana and blamed him for inciting violence at the Red Fort.

Sidhana belongs to Sidhana village in Bathinda district. At one point of time, he used to work for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

He was first jailed in 2004 and was put behind the bars many times till 2017.

Of late, he has hogged the limelight as a social activist by demanding that all official signboards, other than English, should be in Punjabi first.

Along with Sidhana, Punjabi actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, who was seen as protesters swarmed the Red Fort and even put up a religious flag on its ramparts, has been named the main accused in the violence.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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