New Delhi: Baba Ramdev asked his followers to mount a countrywide peaceful agitation to protest the sudden midnight police "brutality" at the Ramlila Maidan but kept on appealing them not to retaliate violently, a close aide of the yoga guru said on Sunday.
"While leaving the Ramlila Maidan, he told us to organise peaceful protest throughout the country against the police brutality. He asked us to question why innocent people were beaten up at 1 am in the night," Swami Sampurunand, second in command in Patanjali Yogpeeth, said.
Sampurunand said Ramdev kept on constantly appealing to his followers to not retaliate violently in reply to the police action.
"I and others were sleeping when the police swept down at the venue and started to lathicharge. They then fired teargas shells leading to a huge melee," he said.
"We are not being able to contact him. We do not know where he has been taken to," Sampurunand said. He said he was holding Baba`s hand during the melee.
He said police came to the protest site and started beating people and shelling tear gas shells at 1 am.
"Despite the crowd, tear gas, Baba kept on asking his followers to not to resort to violent methods...He was ready to court arrest. But police lathicharged and fired teargas shells," he claimed.
Ramdevji was suddenly missing from the spot and was seen nowhere by the followers, Sampurunand said. Swami Sampurunand claimed, "I was holding the hand of Baba but when a tear gas shell fell near a little children. He told me to go to the child. When I came back Baba was not there."
"We don`t know where he is. Police has not informed us about his whereabouts till now. We are not able to contact our own officials as they have been taken to various locations. During the melee, Baba kept on telling us to maintain peace and unity and not to do anything violent," he said.
He also alleged that police did not show any legal documents regarding permission for the action.
"They (Police) also did no announcement. Policemen brutally beat women and followers... Hundreds have been injured. We don`t know where they have been taken," Sampurnand said.