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Deep Sidhu

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Deep Sidhu
1st Jathedar of Waris Punjab De
In office
September 2021 – 15 February 2022
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAmritpal Singh
Personal details
Sandeep Singh Sidhu

(1984-04-02)2 April 1984
Udekaran, Punjab, India
Died15 February 2022(2022-02-15) (aged 37)
Kharkhoda, Haryana, India
  • Actor
  • activist
  • lawyer
Known forActivism, founding Waris Punjab De
AwardsKingfisher Model Hunt Award
President's Scout
Best Male Debut in Punjabi Cinema

Sandeep Singh Sidhu (2 April 1984 – 15 February 2022), also known as Deep Sidhu, was an Indian film actor and Sikh activist.[2] He worked in Punjabi films, starting his acting career with the film Ramta Jogi produced by Dharmendra under his banner Vijayta Films.[3][4]

Sidhu entered political arena in 2019, campaigning for the BJP candidate Sunny Deol, and later trying to take a leading role in the 2020-2021 farmers' protest.[5] A few months before his death in a road accident, he founded a Punjabi Sikh pro Khalistan organisation Waris Punjab De.[6][7][8][9]

Early life[edit]

Deep Sidhu was born on 2 April 1984[10][11] (or 1979, per his driving licence),[12] to a Punjabi family in Udekaran village of Muktsar district of Punjab.[3][13][14] His father Sardar Surjit Singh Sidhu was a lawyer; his mother died when he was 4 years old.[15] He has two brothers – Surjeet and Mandeep Singh.[16][17] He obtained a degree in law from Punjabi University in Patiala.[18] He dated Punjabi actress Reena Rai who was also his co-star in two of his movies.[19]


He worked in legal positions for a few years, as a legal advisor to Sahara India Pariwar,[20] in the British legal firm Hammonds, and as the legal head of Balaji Telefilms.[21][22] Later, he founded a law firm Lex Legal in Mumbai.[23][13]

He made his acting debut in Ramta Jogi, which brought him the PTC Punjabi Film Award for Best Male Debut in Punjabi Cinema in 2016. He rose to greater prominence with Jora 10 Numbaria (2017), in which he played the lead role of a gangster, making him a star.[13] He followed that with Rang Panjab (2018),[19] Desi (2019),[19][clarification needed] Jora: The Second Chapter (2020)[23] and Saade Aale (2022).[24] The release of Jora: The Second Chapter, which was a sequel to the successful Jora 10 Numbaria, was affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns in India.[23][25] Saade Aale was released in April 2022, two months after his death.[24]


Sidhu entered the political sphere during the 2019 Indian general election when he campaigned for the actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, who was the BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur constituency. He was said to have been close to Deol and his pictures with Deol and prime minister Narendra Modi got circulated later in 2020.[13]

During the Covid-19 lockdown in India, Sidhu is said to have read the works of Ajmer Singh, about Punjab and Sikh history.[a] This led to his political awakening, as Ajmer Singh had argued that Punjab's history has been "tampered with".[13][26] He uploaded several videos on social media on Punjab's history, culture and economy, and acquired a wide following.[26]

Farmers' protest[edit]

When farmers' protests began in Punjab in late 2020, against the BJP government's farm laws, the artistes of Punjab were prodded on social media into supporting the protests.[27] Deep Sidhu organised a protest at Shambu on Punjab–Haryana border on 25 September, along with a former gangster called Lakha Sidhana, which came to be called the "Shambu Morcha". The artist-organised protests did not meet with the approval of the farmer unions, who saw them as upstaging their own protests. They also said that these protests were misguiding the youth. Moreover, Sidhu and Sidhana were asking the protesters to broaden the agenda beyond the farm bills into a general protest against the Union government, in opposition to an alleged "attack on Punjab".[28] Sidhu also rebuffed the objections of the farmer unions saying that he would not abide by directives that were issued from closed-door meetings.[27] After the "symbolic protest" on 25 September, he launched a permanent "Shambu Morcha on 4 October, which continued,[29] until, in collaboration with Bharatiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur), the morcha broke the barricades at the Shambu barrier and marched towards Delhi. This forced the other unions also to march to Delhi.[13]

Throughout this period Sidhu was firm in his position that the protests were not merely about the farm bills, but to "change the entire power equation".[30] They had to be seen in the context of the "federal structure and existence of Punjab".[13] When farmer unions complained that the youth participating in his morcha did not even read the farm bills, he replied that they did not need to. If they understood that Modi wanted to "capture our lands", that was enough.[27] At one stage, one of the protesting youth raised pro-Khalistan slogans, and the morcha manager Hakam Singh handed him over to the police. Sidhu said that it was harsh treatment and expelled the manager.[31] His Shambu Morcha, which is said to have been independent of the farmer unions, was live streamed by pro-Khalistan channels.[2]

The farmers that reached Delhi were blocked at the outer periphery of Delhi, where they continued their protest. For the Republic Day on 26 January 2021, the farmer unions planned a "Kisan Parade" on tractors through the Outer Ring Road, along a route agreed upon with the police. On the day before, Sidhu took over the main stage at Singhu, and argued for marching "inside Delhi".[2][32] During the parade, some farmers that bought into the idea diverted from the agreed route, entered central Delhi near the ITO metro station, broke the police barricades and clashed with the police. There was rioting. In the afternoon, they entered the Red Fort area in their tractors, climbed on the ramparts of the monument and hoisted flags. Deep Sidhu was among them.[33] According to IANS, Sidhu did a Facebook Live broadcast of the event and commented, "We have only hoisted the Nishan Sahib flag (Sikh religious flag) on the Red Fort while exercising our democratic right to protest."[34] The federation of the farmers' unions, Samyukt Kisan Morcha distanced itself from Sidhu and accused him of leading the farmers to the Red Fort.[34][35][32] In video recordings Sidhu was seen being chased away by some farmers. He was found to have left Delhi and gone into hiding in Haryana.[35][36]

The Delhi Police booked Sidhu and Sadhana for instigating violence at the Red Fort.[37][38] After a preliminary investigation, they concluded that "there was a pre-conceived and well-coordinated plan to break the agreement between the Delhi Police and the leaders of protesting organisations."[39][40] Sidhu was arrested on 9 February 2021 from Karnal in Haryana on charge of instigating farmers to storm the Red Fort and causing violence.[41][42] He pleaded innocence and claimed he was not involved in any violence nor incited others. He said that he had exercised his right to peaceful protest and was implicated as he was a "popular face" present "at the wrong place at the wrong time".[43]

After his bail plea was approved, he was arrested a second time on a police case filed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). ASI had accused Sidhu of damaging the monument and vandalism by the rioters.[44] His lawyer denounced the second arrest after bail as unconstitutional.[45] He was released on bail on 16 April 2021.[46]

Waris Punjab De[edit]

In September 2021, Sidhu formed a political organisation named Waris Punjab De, that aimed to get more rights for farmers from the Union government.[47] Before his death, he gave support to[48] the pro-Khalistan leader Simranjit Singh Mann and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).[12]


Sidhu died in a car accident on 15 February 2022, at the age of 37. The accident occurred on the Kundli-Manesar highway, in Haryana's Kharkhoda area, near Delhi. Sidhu was driving his Mahindra Scorpio towards Punjab. There were two people in the car; the passenger was his girlfriend, Reena Rai, who survived with injuries.[49][50] According to Sonipat police, Sidhu died around 9 P.M. near the Peepli toll booth, after his car hit the rear end of a truck parked on the highway. The truck had broken down on the side of the road. The driver side of the car took the maximum impact of the crash. Sidhu was pronounced dead at the hospital.[51][52]



In a condolence message, the chief of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (Sikh governing body) had said "Sidhu had played a leading role in mobilising the youth during the Kisan Sangharsh and spread the voice of Kisan Sangharsh across the country and the world. The serious people of Punjab are deeply shocked by his demise."[53]

In October 2022, there were talks ongoing with the SGPC and Mandeep Sidhu (Deep Sidhu's brother) to have his picture placed in the Central Sikh Museum.[54]

Musical tributes[edit]

Sidhu Moose Wala was a friend of Sidhu, and, after his death, became more vocal on Sikh issues.[55] He recorded two songs on Sikhism and Sikh politics with a few more to come out in the future.[56] In his song named 'SYL' a recording was played of Deep Sidhu's speech calling out two faced people after the 2020-2021 Indian farmers' protest and in his album "Moosetape" he played a recording of Deep Sidhu at the end of his song, 'Burberry'.[57][58]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015 Ramta Jogi Jogi Directed by Guddu Dhanoa [59]
2017 Jora 10 Numbaria Jora Directed by Amardeep Singh Gill [60]
2018 Rang Punjab - [61]
2019 Desi - [62]
2020 Jora - The Second Chapter Jora [63]
2022 Saade Aale Manjeet Film was launched at Cannes Film Festival [64][65]

Honours and awards[edit]

Film Awards[edit]

Year Category Film Result Ref.
Kingfisher Model Hunt Award Won [13]
2016 Best male debut in Punjabi Cinema Ramta Jogi Won [66]
2018 Filmfare Awards Punjabi Jora 10 Numbaria Nominated [67]
2018 PTC Punjabi Film Awards as Best actor Nominated [68]


  1. ^ Ajmer Singh is described as a naxalite-turned-Khalistan proponent.[2] He has written several books in Punjabi over the last decade, covering the history of Sikhs after Indian independence and representing a sense of Sikh grievance.


  1. ^ "Dharam Ji identified the actor in me: Deep Sidhu". Punjab News Express. Archived from the original on 17 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "How extremist elements hijacked farmers' rally and Deep Sidhu's role in chaos". The Tribune. 26 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "I fight my own case: Deep". The Tribune. 20 September 2015.
  4. ^ "The new actor on the block Deep Sidhu". Indian Down Under. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017.
  5. ^ "How extremist elements hijacked farmers' rally and Deep Sidhu's role in chaos". The Tribune. 26 January 2021. Despite being shunned by farmer unions at various stages of the ongoing anti-farm law agitation, Deep Sidhu has been attempting to take a leadership role in the movement for the past several months.
  6. ^ "How extremist elements hijacked farmers' rally and Deep Sidhu's role in chaos". The Tribune. 26 January 2021. The 'Shambu morcha', as he called it, soon started receiving "live streaming" support from some pro-Khalistan channels and Deep Sidhu would often attack the 'Leftist' leadership of the unions. He would cite the example of Jews and motivate people to fight for a "Sikh homeland".
  7. ^ Bharadwaj, Nikhil (16 February 2022). "Deep Sidhu cremated amid pro-Khalistan slogans in Ludhiana; people attend last rites in large numbers". The Tribune. Retrieved 9 June 2024. Youth carrying Kesari flags, photographs of Sidhu raised slogans "Deep Sidhu Amar rahe" (Long Live Deep Sidhu), "Khalistan Zindabad", "Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale Zindabad" etc.
  8. ^ Goyal, Divya (30 September 2022). "Khalistan on lips, Bhindranwale follower takes charge of Deep Sidhu's outfit, actor's kin say no link". Indian Express. Retrieved 9 June 2024.
  9. ^ Ramachandran, Sudha (28 February 2023). "Is Sikh Militancy Returning to India's Punjab State?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 9 June 2024.
  10. ^ Sehgal, Manjeet (16 February 2022). "Who was Deep Sidhu, the actor-turned-activist who joined farmers' protest". India Today.
  11. ^ "Deep Sidhu Death: Deep Sidhu's Scorpio blew up after colliding with a truck, know when and how the accident happened". News NCR. 16 February 2022.
  12. ^ a b Menon, Aditya (15 February 2022). "Deep Sidhu Dies in Accident: He Wanted Farmers Protest To Lead to Larger Change". The Quint. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Brar, Kamaldeep Singh (29 November 2020). "Explained: Who is Deep Sidhu, and why is he getting attention amid the farmers' protests?". The Indian Express.
  14. ^ Sharma, Lalit (16 February 2022). "Deep Sidhu's uncle suspects foul play behind actor's death, seeks high-level inquiry". India Today.
  15. ^ Singh, Jasmine (17 February 2022). "Here's All You Should Know About Deep Sidhu!". PTC Punjabi. Archived from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  16. ^ "Deep Sidhu's brother files FIR against the truck driver who was allegedly involved in the car crash". The Times of India. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  17. ^ Goyal, Divya (26 February 2023). "Nothing to do with Amritpal, our family doesn't agree with his ideology: Deep Sidhu's brother". The Indian Express. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  18. ^ "Actor, ex-gangster at centre of farmers' ire". Hindustan Times. 28 January 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Who is Reena Rai, Deep Sidhu's girlfriend". India Today. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  20. ^ "Who is Deep Sidhu? All about Punjabi actor who hoisted 'Nishan Sahib' flag at Delhi's Red Fort". DNA India. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  21. ^ Vaid, Kritika (9 February 2021). "Who is Deep Sidhu? Everything You Need Know About Punjabi Actor Who is Arrested For Red Fort Violence". www.india.com. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  22. ^ "Deep Sidhu passes away in car accident: Punjabi actor rose to fame for his involvement in Red Fort violence". Firstpost. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2023.
  23. ^ a b c "Deep Sidhu: Man of many shades, loved and hated in equal measure". The Indian Express. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  24. ^ a b "Saade Aale Movie Review : The last film of Deep Sidhu is an intense drama, which unfortunately failed to keep a strong grip". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  25. ^ Aditya Menon, Farmers Protest: How Actor Deep Sidhu Became Part of the Agitation, The Quint, 28 November 2020.
  26. ^ a b Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Deep Sidhu: Man of many shades, loved and hated in equal measure, Indian Express, 16 February 2022.
  27. ^ a b c Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Farmers’ protest in Punjab: Questioned for their silence and activism, Punjabi artistes dig in for long battle ahead, Indian Express, 4 October 2020. ProQuest 2448140070
  28. ^ Kamaldeep Singh Brar, Farm outfits sore as actors, singers appropriate protests, Indian Express, 27 September 2020. ProQuest 2446447309
  29. ^ 13-year-old girl holds gathering at Shambu Morcha with her theatre plays on federal rights of Punjab [Chandigarh], The Times of India, 16 October 2020. ProQuest 2451175577
  30. ^ Aditya Menon, Farmers Protest: How Actor Deep Sidhu Became Part of the Agitation, The Quint, 28 November 2020.
  31. ^ Deep Sidhu expels activist from Shambhu Morcha for harshly objecting to pro-Khalistan slogan, Sikh24, 29 October 2020.
  32. ^ a b Arora, Kusum (28 January 2021). "Who Are Deep Sidhu and Lakha Sidhana, and Why Are Farmers' Unions Angry With Them?". The Wire.
  33. ^ Farmers’ protests | Tractor rally turns violent as farmers enter Capital, The Hindu, 27 January 2021. ProQuest 2480961597
  34. ^ a b Punjabi actor summoned by NIA posts live video from Red Fort hoisting pennant, IANS, 26 January 2021. ProQuest 2480804966
  35. ^ a b Vincent, Pheroze L. (28 January 2021). "Farmers had rejected actor Deep Sidhu". The Telegraph.
  36. ^ Arvind Ojha, Deep Sidhu arrested in Karnal after being named in Delhi Police FIR on Republic Day violence, India Today, 9 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Deep Sidhu, Lakha Sidhana booked for Red Fort violence". The Tribune. 28 January 2021.
  38. ^ "Farmer leaders to be charged for sedition; UAPA invoked by police". Hindustan Times. 28 January 2021.
  39. ^ "Jan 26 violence: Delhi Police announce Rs 1L reward for information on Deep Sidhu". Times Now. 3 February 2021.
  40. ^ PTI (3 February 2021). "Cash reward announced for information on Deep Sidhu". The Hindu.
  41. ^ "Deep Sidhu arrested in connection with January 26 violence". The Tribune. 9 February 2021.
  42. ^ "Deep Sidhu: Delhi Police arrest Red Fort raider Deep Sidhu". The Times of India. 9 February 2021.
  43. ^ "Red Fort violence: Was exercising my 'fundamental right' to protest, Deep Sidhu tells court". The Times of India. PTI. 8 April 2021.
  44. ^ Thapliyal, Nupur (26 April 2021). "Breaking: "Incarceration Would Bear No Fruit, Would Be Injustified": Delhi Court Grants Bail To Deep Sidhu In ASI FIR Alleging Damage To Red Fort". Live Law.
  45. ^ "Sidhu's Advocate to Court: Arrest after bail is unconstitutional". Law Insider India. 25 April 2021.
  46. ^ "Delhi Court grants bail to Deep Sidhu in Red Fort violence case". Bar and Bench. 17 April 2021.
  47. ^ "पंजाब: दिल्ली हिंसा के आरोपी अभिनेता दीप सिद्धू ने बनाया 'वारिस पंजाब दे' संगठन, राज्यों के अधिकार दिलाने का करेंगे काम". Amar Ujala (in Hindi). Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  48. ^ Bharadwaj, Amit; Sandhu, Kamaljit Kaur (16 February 2022). "Deep Sidhu death: Actor was going to Punjab to campaign for SAD leader, says close aide". India Today.
  49. ^ "Deep Sidhu's girlfriend Reena Rai shares heartbroken post after his death: 'Come back to your soulmate…'". The Indian Express. 18 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  50. ^ Srivastava, Samriddhi (17 February 2022). "Deep Sidhu's girlfriend Reena Rai says 'I'm dead inside' in first post after his death". India Today.
  51. ^ "Deep Sidhu, actor-activist accused in Red Fort violence, dies in car crash". The Indian Express. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024. A senior police officer said the vehicle hit the back of a stationary truck which had broken down on the side of the road. The driver's side of the Scorpio bore the brunt of the impact.
  52. ^ "Key suspect in R-Day violence Deep Sidhu killed in road accident". The Tribune. 16 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  53. ^ Singh, Amrik (16 February 2022). "SGPC President express grave sorrow over the death of Deep Sidhu". Punjab News Express. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  54. ^ "Bro for Deep Sidhu pic in Sikh museum". The Times of India. 23 October 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  55. ^ Menon, Aditya (6 June 2022). "Sidhu Moose Wala, Deep Sidhu and Punjab's Unending Cycle of Grief & Resilience". The Quint.
  56. ^ "Diljit Dosanjh says it is painful to talk about Sidhu Moosewala's killing, calls out government: 'Ye sarkaar ki nalayaki hai'". The Indian Express. 4 December 2022.
  57. ^ "Burberry – Sidhu Moose Wala Song Lyrics | Plyric.com". plyric.com. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  58. ^ "Bhogs of Deep Sidhu and singer Sidhu Moose Wala: In 4 months, two big gatherings in Punjab". The Times of India. 9 June 2022.
  59. ^ "Believe it or not!". The Tribune (India). 17 August 2015.
  60. ^ "'Jora 10 Numbaria' shows reality of a gangster's life, says Deep Sidhu". Hindustan Times. 18 July 2017.
  61. ^ "Rang Panjab is the story of love, courage and faith - Times of India". The Times of India.
  62. ^ Prakriti (27 November 2018). "Get Ready To See The 'Intense' Deep Sidhu Trying His Hands At Comedy In 'Desi'". Archived from the original on 16 February 2022. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  63. ^ "The shoot of 'Jora - The Second Chapter' goes on floor - Pollywood sequels and threequels to look forward to". The Times of India.
  64. ^ "Deep Sidhu movies list". The Times of India.
  65. ^ Nijher, Jaspreet (14 May 2018). "Sadde Aale fist Punjabi Film to launch at Cannes 2018". The Times of India.
  66. ^ "PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2016: Complete list of winners - Times of India". The Times of India.
  67. ^ "Filmfare Awards Punjabi 2018 Nominations". Filmfare. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  68. ^ "PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2018- Official list of nominations". PTC News. 30 March 2018.

External links[edit]