New Delhi: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday castigated Delhi Police for its violent crackdown on hundreds of his innocent followers, who had gathered at the Ramlila Maidan on June 4-5 last year to support his anti-corruption agitation.
“Today’s ruling of the Supreme Court has exposed the role of Delhi Police and the government at the centre for its senseless crackdown on innocent civilians. It is now before the people of India to understand who ordered the police to take such brutal action against my followers? ”
He made this statement shortly after the Supreme Court held both Ramdev and Delhi Police responsible for the midnight crackdown, stressing that it could have been avoided.
“The SC observation has clearly shown that there was gross misuse of power by Delhi Police, “he said, adding, “Why blame Delhi Police as it was just acting on the orders of the central government?”
He also asked why his innocent supporters were not arrested. “Why there were baton-charged by the Delhi Police officials? We had done nothing wrong and we have not gathered there for any unlawful act. We had just sought the support of the people of this country in our collective fight to bring back the black money stashed abroad.”
Speaking at this occasion, Baba Ramdev’s counsel Ram Jethmalani said, “As far as I am concerned, Baba Ramdev has won the case. The apex court verdict has clearly exposed the role of government and Delhi Police.”
The noted lawyer even raised serious doubts over the intentions of the Home Minister P Chidambaram and even sought a probe against him.
“I don’t know if the SC had taken into account the conduct of the Home Minister P Chidambaram, who ordered the brutal crackdown on the innocent people. I demand a thorough probe against him and all those who were behind this barbaric act targeting Baba Ramdev,” he said, asking, “What was the need for Chidambram to order a hasty operation?”
Calling the government mentally sick, Jethmalani said, “Ramdev may be a yoga teacher but I would say this government needs some kind of training from this yoga instructor. Come what may, I am confident that Baba Ramdev is with me and together we will continue our agitation against those who have stashed unaccounted money in foreign banks.”
The sharp reactions from Ramdev’s camp came shortly after the apex court blamed the yoga guru and Delhi Police for the midnight crackdown at the Ramlila Maidan on June 4-5 last year.
The apex court, while stressing that the authorities could have avoided the violent incident, said that both Baba Ramdev and the police acted in an irresponsible manner.
“There was abuse of power by the Delhi Police and there was violation of fundamental rights of people,” the apex court bench of Justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said.
“The incident shows might of the state which strikes at the foundation of democracy. It is a glaring example of trust deficit between people governing and people being governed,” the bench said.
The Supreme Court also directed the Delhi government and the Delhi Police Commissioner to register a case against officers who caused injury, and those who used lathicharge and tear gas in the crackdown.
The court further asked the authorities to give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of Rajbala, the woman who died due to the injury suffered in the police crackdown.
Besides, the court also ordered a compensation of Rs 50,000 for those who sustained serious injuries and Rs 35,000 for those with minor injuries during the incident.
Importantly, the apex court asked the yoga guru to share 25% of the total compensation to be given to the victims.
First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 17:08