New Delhi: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev became the target of an attack here on Saturday when a man threw black ink on his face during a press conference.
The man, believed to be 35-36 years old, was nabbed by Ramdev’s supporters and badly beaten up before being handed over to the police. He was placed under arrested following a medical examination.
Ramdev was talking about his future moves against corruption and black money at the press conference held at the Constitutional Club in the heart of the capital.
Ramdev`s right eye was blackened with ink by the man identified as Kamran Siddiqui, a resident of Delhi who is said to be running an NGO `Real Cause` which is a petitioner in the Batla House encounter case.
The attacker, whose shirt was torn and removed, was seen bleeding from his lips. There was lot of jostling around when police escorted the yoga guru away from the club.
Jaideep, Ramdev`s close aide, claimed that Siddiqui had gained entry into the hall carrying a walkie talkie apparently posing as a security personnel. He also claimed that a bottle of acid was recovered from Siddiqui.
Ramdev, who immediately left the venue after the incident, said he had asked for the black money being returned to the country and instead got black ink.
"What have I done to deserve this?" he asked.
"Those who fight for truth have to pay the price. We are fighting to get black money back to the country and instead I got black ink...What did I do to deserve this?" Ramdev said to reporters later.
"This incident wont` affect me. We will continue to fight against the odds, come what may," he added.
Before the incident, Siddiqui had sought Ramdev`s opinion on the 2008 Batla House encounter in which suspects of the Delhi serial blasts were killed.
The yoga guru had ignored the question and soon after the attack took place.
Parties condemn attack
Meanwhile, political parties were quick to condemn the attack on yoga guru Ramdev but also used the opportunity to score points over each on the increasing frequency of such incidents and the issue of black money and corruption.
"It is becoming a common phenomenon for individuals to commit such incidents to get publicity and government should act firmly against the culprits. Such incidents were seen in the case of lawyer Prashant Bhushan and Union minister Sharad Pawar," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He pointed that other than the increasing instances of such incidents, there is also a "lurking suspicion" that the today`s attack has been prompted by the crusade launched by Ramdev against black money and corruption.
"Some time ago, we have witnessed Ramdev and his followers being lathicharged and forcefully evicted from Ramlila grounds and police terror being unleashed on them allegedly at the behest of the Central government," Rudy said.
He maintained that the BJP is "constrained" to believe that today`s incident could be an outcome of the designs of the UPA government, which is suspected of retaliating against those who are raising a banner of revolt against corruption and black money.
Congress also condemned the incident but insisted that the attack on Ramdev had nothing to do with opposition to the government from some quarters on corruption issues.
"Whatever has happened, it is very unfortunate... Everybody has a right to express his view and if anybody has done anything wrong I condemn it and I am sure law will take its own course," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
(With PTI inputs)