Ramdev wants independent probe into police crackdown

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Yoga guru Baba Ramdev Friday sought an independent probe into the police crackdown at Ramlila Ground on the night of June 4-5 where he along with his supporters was holding a campaign against corruption.

Baba Ramdev made the plea for an independent probe in reply to a notice issued to his Bharat Swabhiman Trust by the Supreme Court.

The court had sought Bharat Swabhiman Trust’s response to the affidavit filed by Delhi Police Commissioner B.K.Gupta justifying the police action on the grounds that area was put under prohibitory orders banning the assembly of more than five people at a place.

The apex court had taken the suo motu cognizance of the police action and issued notice to the Delhi Police commissioner, Delhi chief secretary, and the union home secretary, and had asked them to file personal affidavits.

Gupta in his affidavit said that Ramdev was asked to move out as prohibitory orders banning gathering of five or more people had been imposed in the area, but instead the yoga guru began protesting.

The police commissioner also claimed in his affidavit that they had intelligence input pointing to threat to the security of the yoga guru. It was also said that Ramlila Ground was booked for a yoga camp but it became a venue of political gathering.

On June 20, the apex court vacation bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice A.K. Patnaik asked Acharya Virendra Vikram, president of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust (BST), to respond to the affidavits filed by Gupta and the Delhi chief secretary.

Ramlila Ground was booked by the BST for a yoga camp. Ramdev controls the BST.

Senior counsel U.U. Lalit, who had appeared for Delhi Police in June 20 hearing, told the court that police had to use teargas in order to chase away Baba Ramdev’s supporters who indulged in throwing stones and other objects.

He told the court that Ramlila Ground was given to the BST for a yoga camp but instead it was converted into a political gathering.

The court was also told that the Ramlila Ground had the capacity of 5,000 people but there were 20,000-25,000 people.

The matter will come up for further hearing July 11.