Ramlila crackdown: SC to continue proceedings

Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta in an affidavit had defended the police action.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, Monday, will continue hearing the case related to alleged police crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his supporters at Ramlila Ground on June 04.

At an earlier hearing, an anguished bench of Justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar had questioned the Delhi police for not registering an FIR on the complaint of the yoga guru’s followers against the alleged “atrocities” committed by the cops.

Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta in an affidavit defended the police action and refuted the allegation of excesses against the people present at Ramlila Ground.

Earlier on July 25, expressing dissatisfaction with the police report regarding the suspected assault by the cops on several followers of yoga teacher Baba Ramdev, the apex court had decided to watch the video footage showing lathicharge by police on the innocent people at the Ramlila ground during the wee hours on June 05.

However, the court refused to entertain the plea made by Baba’s counsel Ram Jethmalani to make Union Home Minister P Chidambaram a party to the case.

He had accused that the police assaulted the men, women and children at the behest of Chidambaram.

Judges had said the court doesn’t want to expand the ambit of the present case as their entire focus is to examine the circumstances which led to the June incident. They said court has not made the Home Ministry a party at this stage.

Dismayed at the police excesses, the court warned, “Innocent persons should not be beaten up by whosoever”.

The court directed all the contending parties to file replies and rejoinders well before that. It gave three days` time to the central and Delhi governments and Delhi Police to file their response.

Delhi police defends action

The Delhi Police chief told the court that though Ramlila ground was booked by Ramdev`s aides for a yoga camp, it was converted into a place of protest against corruption.

Though the yoga camp was to be held from 5 to 7.30 am, it did not last for more than half hour on the first day.

The police chief affidavit also said that there were intelligence reports that Ramdev was being targeted to disrupt communal harmony.

By June 04 evening, police said the situation at the ground became serious from the point of view of "public order".

There were intelligence reports that a large number of people were being mobilised to reach Delhi and it became apparent that the gathering at Ramlila ground would increase manifold by June 05 morning.

"Since such a large crowd could not fit into the Ramlila ground, there was danger of stampede, and also that the crowd would spill into highly sensitive neighbourhood," police said.

With IANS inputs

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