UPDATED: February 17, 2021 10:24 IST
A team of the Delhi Police Special Cell on Tuesday arrested one of the main accused in connection with the violence at the historic Red Fort on Republic Day.
Maninder Singh alias Moni, 30, was wanted by the Delhi Police after his videos and photos surfaced from January 26, where he was seen swinging swords at Red Fort during a tractor rally organised by farmer unions protesting against the three farm laws, officials said on Wednesday.
Maninder Singh alias Moni is a resident of Swaroop Nagar in Delhi. ‘Most wanted’ in Red Fort violence case, Maninder Singh was held near the bus stop in Pitampura on Tuesday. Following his arrest, Delhi Police also recovered two swords from Maninder Singh’s house in Swaroop Nagar.
Maninder Singh swing swords at Red Fort
During his interrogation, accused Maninder Singh told Delhi Police that he was a regular at Singhu border where farmers have been protesting for over two months. Maninder Singh told police that he was motivated by speeches made by farmer leaders at the protest site.
Maninder Singh revealed that he also motivated five others in his neighbourhood to join the tractor rally on January 26. Before joining the tractor rally, Maninder Singh said he kept two swords with him. Riding on bikes, the group accompanied the protesting farmers on January 26 from Singhu border towards Mukarba Chowk.
As per their plan, the accused along with five other and other unknown armed miscreants entered Red Fort where Maninder swung swords. A video showing him swinging swords at Red Fort on January 26 was also found in his mobile phone, Delhi Police said.
As per Delhi Police, Maninder Singh also runs a sword-training school near his house in Swaroop Nagar in Delhi.
The arrest of key accused Maninder Singh comes days after the Delhi Police arrested one Iqbal Singh in connection to the Republic Day violence case. Iqbal Singh, one of the accused in the case, was arrested from Hoshiyarpur in Punjab on February 9.
Delhi Police had been searching for Iqbal Singh over his role in the Red Fort incident on January 26 and had announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for any information on his whereabouts. Iqbal Singh was accused of instigating the crowd near the Lahori Gate to storm the Red Fort.
The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch last week took actor-activist Deep Sidhu, who is also under arrest, and Iqbal Singh to Red Fort to recreate the scene of events that unfolded at the historic monument on Republic Day during the farmer’s tractor parade.
What happened in Delhi on January 26?
On January 26, tens of thousands of protesting farmers had clashed with the police in New Delhi during a tractor parade. The rally was called by farmer unions to reiterate their stance on the Centre’s farm laws.
Many of them driving tractors reached the Red Fort and entered the monument, where a religious flag was also hoisted. Over 500 police personnel were injured. Many were also seen engaging in vandalism at various areas of New Delhi.
In the FIR registered in connection with the Red Fort violence, police alleged two magazines with 20 live cartridges were snatched from two constables by protestors who also damaged vehicles and robbed anti-riot gear.