The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested a 30-year-old protester from Delhi’s Pitampura in connection with the violence at Red Fort on Republic Day. Police said the accused, Maninder Singh, was the ‘most wanted’ after his videos and photos surfaced from January 26, where he was seen swinging swords at Red Fort during a tractor rally.
“Singh 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 January 26,” Pramod Singh Kushwah, DCP (Special Cell) said. The investigating team has recovered two swords (4 feet in size) from Singh’s house in Swaroop Nagar.
Singh, who works as an AC mechanic, also runs a sword training school near his house in Swaroop Nagar Delhi. During his interrogation, he told the police he was “radicalised” after seeing various Facebook posts on different groups.
“Singh frequently visited Singhu border and was highly motivated by speeches there. He told us that he 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,” Kushwah said.
Police said the accused later acted on his plan and marched to Red Fort with his associates and other armed miscreants. CCTV and other video footage from the Red Fort showed Singh “sword swinging/dancing” to motivate protesters and cause “mayhem”.
Kushwah said they’ve also found videos of him with swords at Red Fort on his phone and are further investigating the matter.