On Wednesday, hundreds of Khalistani supporters attended the cremation of actor Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident on February 15, in Ludhiana’s Tharike village and raised slogans in favor of Khalistan. “Saadi (hamari) majboori hai, Khalistan zaroori hai”, they yelled as they demanded freedom and a separate territory named Khalistan. The Sikh youth also shouted in union ‘banke rahega Khalistan’ and demanded a probe into the death of Sidhu, who was one of the accused in the 2021 Republic Day riots in Delhi.

Surrounding the pyre of Deep Sidhu, people who attended the cremation chanted the ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogan repeatedly. Some of them also carried pro-Khalistan banners.

The California Youth Sikh Alliance shared a few videos on Instagram portraying the Kalistani supporters who echoed Punjab with the cries of freedom in the vicinity of Deep Singh Sidhu’s cremation pyre. “After several decades, this vision of sovereignty, that was once brought to life by Sant Bhindranwale, was what Deep had made the youth actively realize again. Thousands upon thousands participated in the Antim Ardas, while even more watched the lion being cremated in the diaspora live. The struggle continues…”, the post read with hashtags- ‘India Kills Sikhs’, ‘India Killed Deep’, ‘Free Punjab’ and ‘Long Live Deep Sidhu’.

This group is calling the death of Deep Sidhu a ‘political murder’ and ‘assassination’, and blaming the ‘Indian state’ for the same. In a post, CYSA claimed that Deep Sidhu was murdered by India, a claim very difficult to prove because Sidhu had crashed his car into a moving truck from behind.

Deep Sidhu died on February 15 in a road accident on KMP (Kundli-Manesar) Highway near Delhi. According to the reports, various Sikh organisations who attended the cremation alleged that Sidhu’s death was a planned murder and that the state must look into the investigation. Sidhu was accompanied by his girlfriend Reena Rai who survived the accident due to the airbags. She in her statement to the Police had said that the car rammed into the moving truck in Sonipat district and Sidhu himself was driving the car. Sidhu’s family friends said he was returning from Delhi to take part in an election campaign for Simranjit Singh Mann in Amargarh constituency.

Although the Police have registered a case against the 37-year-old truck driver, they are considering the entire case of accident due to reckless driving. A large number of people gathered at the Shambhu border of Punjab and Haryana to pay homage to the actor-turned activist. They showered petals and flowers on the ambulance that carried Sidhu’s body for cremation. They called him a martyr and raised slogans like- “Deep Sidhu Zindabad”, “Raj Karega Khalsa” and “Khalistan Zindabad”.

Deep was a Khalistani supporter and was arrested last year in February after he participated in the desecration of the Red Fort amid the tractor rally held by farmers that turned violent. The Khalistani supporters had brutally attacked the security personnel and police officials stationed at Red Fort and had disrespected India’s national flag by hoisting two other flags with Sikh symbols. His act of desecrating the Red Fort was hailed by the pro-Khalistan groups as
a charge sheet was filed against him in May last year.

Sidhu primarily had come to limelight when a video of him speaking in English went viral in December 2020. Deep Sidhu was seen claiming to be a farmer and said that the farmers protests will be the defining moment of the geopolitics of not just India but also entire South Asia. Sidhu was heard saying that these farmer protests were nothing but an revolution.

As Deep Sidhu and his fellow protesters had uttered the magical words of ‘revolution’, the left-liberals and the opposition ecosystem had fallen in love with the Punjab actor, who descended on social media platforms for having a ‘spine’ to stand up to the ‘fascist’ Modi government.

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