From Ramlila ground to Haridwar

From Ramlila ground to Haridwar

From Ramlila ground to Haridwar

The police action came after Ramdev refused to call off his fast despite the Centre’s reported assurance to him that it had accepted all his demands. In a meticulously planned action, Delhi police and Rapid Action Force members swooped down on the sprawling Ramlila Maidan around 1 am. While Baba’s restive supporters attempted to prevent his arrest, Baba too tried to evade the police.

Initially there was confusion about the whereabouts of Ramdev. Police and home ministry sources insisted that he had left the place voluntarily after he was served an externment order. Home Secretary G K Pillai said Ramdev was being taken to his ashram in Haridwar. He dismissed the claims that Ramdev was arrested. He said the yoga guru was detained for a while and later escorted out of Delhi.

According to Ramdev, he was sleeping on the stage when the police reached there and woke him up. They told him that they wanted to escort him out of the area. Ramdev jumped off the stage and his supporters threw a human ring around him.

Ramdev got on the shoulder of a supporter, took a mike and started appealing to his supporters not to resort to violence. Soon after this, he took refuge among women followers and changed to salwar kameez, apparently to escape arrest.

Clashes followed between the security personnel and the supporters of Ramdev, many of them them wielding iron rods, fire extinguishers and sticks. Scores of people were injured when the police made a baton charge and the crowd hurled stones at them. Policemen threw back stones hurled at them and used tear gas shells, choking hundreds.

Baba’s supporters claimed that police did not spare even women and children during their action. “We have been pulled by the hair, beaten and slapped by policemen. I want to ask Sonia Gandhi does she know how to respect a woman’s modesty,” said a crying female follower of Ramdev, who had come from West Bengal.

“I have seen British rule, I have seen their atrocities also, what has happened here reminds me of Jallianwala Bagh massacre. I want to say that white angrez (Britishers) have gone and black angrez are ruling us now,” said an elderly man from Haryana.
Ramdev has claimed that over 100 of his followers had been hospitalised and the condition of many of them was critical.

After the police action, Ramlila Maidan was in a shambles with torn banners, mattresses and broken furniture strewn all over the venue.