Friday, June 17, 2011

Ramdev was permitted only yoga at Ramlil, Delhi cops tell Supreme Court

The Delhi Police on Friday told the Supreme Court that its midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his followers two weeks ago was justified because the congregation at Ramlila was illegal.

The police told the apex court that permission was given to Ramdev only to hold a yoga camp and not for any other purpose.

On June 4, Ramdev had launched an anti-corruption rally from his yoga platform, fuelling public sentiment against the government in support of his demand to bring back black money stashed abroad.

Late that night, around 1 am, the police moved in and evicted the Baba and his followers.

Defending the crackdown, the police said it was forced to retaliate after Ramdev's supporters threw stones and flowerpots at them when policemen tried to reach the stage where the yoga guru was delivering a speech.

It further said permission was granted only for a gathering of 5,000 people but on the intervening night of June 4 and 5, more than 20,000 people had gathered at Ramlila ground.

The Delhi Police also denied it resorted to baton charge at Ramlila Maidan. The police said tear gas was used only when Ramdev's supporters started pelting stones at cops.

According to the police, 72 people were injured, as the camp was broken up, which included 39 civilians and 23 policemen.

The Supreme Court had issued notices to Union Home Secretary G K Pillai and Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta on June 6 asking them the circumstances under which Ramdev and his supporters were forcibly evicted.

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