Republic Day violence: Delhi Police arrests Maninder Singh, man seen swinging swords at rally
Maninder Singh told the Delhi Police that he was a regular at Singhu border, where farmers have been protesting since November
The Delhi Police's Special Cell on Tuesday arrested Maninder Singh, one of the main accused in connection with the violence at Red Fort on Republic Day.
The police had termed Maninder the ‘most wanted’ accused after his videos and photos surfaced from 26 January, in which he was seen swinging swords during the tractor rally against the new farm laws.
An article in The Indian Express quoted Pramod Singh Kushwah, DCP (Special Cell) as saying, "Maninder was swinging his swords to motivate/radicalise violent anti-national elements indulging in the brutal assault of police personnel on duty at Red Fort on 26 January."
The accused runs a sword-training school near his house in Swaroop Nagar in Delhi, the police have said.
Maninder Singh reportedly told the Delhi Police that he was a regular at Singhu border, where farmers have been protesting since November. He told police that he was motivated by speeches made by farmer leaders at the protest site, India Today reported.
The police have alleged that Maninder motivated six persons from his area and on the day of the violence, these men joined the tractor rally from the Singhu border to Mukarba Chowk.
Last week, the police had also arrested another accused, Iqbal Singh, from Hoshiarpur in connection with the case. He was produced in the Tis Hazari court on 10 February, and was remanded to seven-day police custody.
The police have also announced a reward of Rs one lakh for information leading to the arrest of another accused Lakhbir Singh alias Lakha Sidhana.
On 13 February, the Delhi Police's Crime Branch took actor-activist Deep Sidhu and another accused Iqbal Singh to the Red Fort to recreate the events that unfolded on Republic Day.
On 26 January, thousands of protesting farmers who reached ITO from the Ghazipur border clashed with the police. Driving tractors, many of them reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was hoisted.
In the violence, over 500 police personnel were injured, while one protester died.
The Sanyukta Kisan Morcha leaders have claimed that false cases are being slapped on farmers. They have claimed that the police is charging them with serious offences like dacoity and attempt to murder to "harass" them.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — since the end of November, demanding a repeal of the three agri laws and a legal guarantee on minimum support price (MSP).
With inputs from PTI
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