Will resume agitation from Haridwar: Ramdev
Haridwar (Uttarakhand): Clad in his trademark saffron robes, yoga guru Baba Ramdev, who was forcibly evicted from the site of his agitation and was whisked away from Delhi, Sunday asserted he will restart his stir against black money from this Hindu holy town, after an attempt to return to the national capital was stopped by the police of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
"I will start the movement again from Hardwar. It will spread to the nook and corner of the country," Ramdev said at a press conference at his ashram here - his third in the day.
Ramdev, along with thousands of supporters, protesting against black money at Delhi's Ramlila Grounds, were forcibly removed by police in the early hours of Sunday. He was taken in a special aircraft by the police to Dehradun and brought to his ashram here in the morning.
Later in the day, he tried to return to Delhi but was stopped by Uttar Pradesh Police at the border of the state's Muzaffarnagar district and turned back to Haridwar.
Asked whether he considered the Uttar Pradesh government action hostile, Ramdev denied this and said that state Chief Minister Mayawati had condemned the police action against him and supporters.
He claimed that he "retreated to avoid a law and order situation".
Ramdev also said some vested interests were spreading rumours about his sources of income. "I am ready to face any probe by any agency," he declared.
Asked about the criticism of his agitation by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, Ramdev said: "I will not respond to the words of a irresponsible person. I will not waste my time."
Ramdev had earlier said that the manner in which the police cracked down on his protest at Delhi's Ramlila Ground was against all democratic norms.
"Had they requested us to cancel our fast as the permission to hold the fast in the ground was cancelled, we would have done that. But the way they manhandled me and the people is a stigma on Indian democracy," said Ramdev in his second interaction with the media during the day.
Rubbishing the police claims that Ramdev faced a life threat, he said: "This is a blatant lie that I was under any kind of threat."
Reaching his ashram here after being forcefully evicted from the Ramlila Ground in the post midnight police raid, a visibly shaken Ramdev accused the government of plotting against him and trying to get him killed.
"They wanted to kidnap me and kill me, or send me somewhere," the yoga guru said at his first press conference of the day, during which he wore a white robe.
He termed the police action inhuman and barbaric.
"Yesterday (Saturday) at the Ramlila Maidan, about 1 lakh people felt the force of the police. The scenario was hurtful and barbaric," he said.
"My fast has not ended," he said about the hunger strike against corruption which he had launched at the Ramlila Ground Saturday morning against black money stashed away in foreign tax havens and corruption.
Nursing a sore throat and at times teary-eyed, Ramdev said: "Despite my pleadings, police did not leave women and children but attacked them."
"No other nation would have shown this much of roughness against its citizens. Such situations were not witnessed even during the Emergency period (1975-77). One can compare it with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre," he said.
He also accused the government and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal of cheating him.
"Government said that by the end of June 6, all our demands will be accepted and then you can end your fast and protest. We were forced to write this (letter) and were told it will be presented to the prime minister.
"Kapil Sibal is a liar and a cunning person, he cheated and mislead us," he said, adding that he was forced into signing the letter.
Sibal had made public a handwritten note in which Ramdev had agreed to end his stir in two days.
Ramdev also attacked Sonia Gandhi.
"I thought she is not born in this country but is the daughter-in-law of this country, But by ordering attack on one lakh people, she proved she does not love the people (of this country)," he said.