Delhi Police defend Ramdev crackdown

Delhi Police have blamed Baba Ramdev for instigating the assembled crowd to resort to violence.

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Friday implicitly blamed yoga guru Baba Ramdev for the crackdown on him and his supporters here two weeks ago that left more than 100 people injured and shot up political temperatures.

Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta said in an affidavit in the Supreme Court that they had information that there was a threat to Ramdev, who is hugely popular for his mastery of yoga.

In any case, Gupta said that Ramdev was asked to leave the sprawling Ramlila ground in the heart of the city because prohibitory orders in the area prevented the gathering of five or more people.

In reality, there were thousands at the ground, attending his indefinite fast against corruption and black money.

Detailing the circumstances of the police crackdown on the night of June 04-05, which forced Ramdev to quit Delhi, Gupta denied that batons were used to break up the crowds.

He said police had fired only tear gas -- and most people got injured due to stampede.

Tear gas too was used only because Ramdev supporters resisted with stones and flower pots the police move to have the ground vacated.

Gupta said that while the ground was rented out for a yoga camp, it turned into a political assembly.

Nearly 100 people were injured in the crackdown, some seriously. One woman is still in hospital due to severe spinal injuries.

The injuries on the dominantly peaceful crowd triggered widespread criticism, including from Gandhian activist Anna Hazare who, in protest, boycotted the June 06 meeting with cabinet ministers to discuss a Lokpal bill aimed at fighting corruption.

After being asked to leave Delhi, Ramdev was flown to Dehradun, from where he moved to his ashram in Haridwar and continued with his fast.

Once his health deteriorated, he was admitted to a hospital in Dehradun. Eventually, on the urging of spiritual and religious leaders, Ramdev ended his fast on June 12. He was discharged from the hospital on June 14.


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