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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

A forced eviction and many missing tales

Faizan Haider and Jaya Shroff Bhalla, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 06, 2011
First Published: 00:49 IST(6/6/2011) | Last Updated: 00:53 IST(6/6/2011)

The torn clothes of Babita Sharma, widow of a Border Security Force commandant who was killed in Kashmir, tell the story of police action on Baba Ramdev’s supporters.

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Sharma, a resident of Kota, Rajasthan, had to borrow a shirt from another supporter to save herself from embarrassment. But the brutality didn’t discourage her and soon she started searching for people who had gone missing after the police crackdown.

“At 1am, I woke up when some policemen nearly crushed me. When I objected they said they would throw me out of Delhi,” Sharma said.

Organisers say, over a 100 people were reported missing after the police action and the family members were still searching for them.

“Two of my relatives, Basanti Devi (65) and Bimla Devi (72), are missing. They are old and I am worried for their lives,” said Sushil Kumar, who had come from Kota to attend the camp.    

“My wife and 10-year-old daughter are missing and the police are not registering a complaint. Even their phones are not reachable,” said Vikram Yadav who came all the way from West Bengal.

Throughout the day on Sunday, relatives of the injured people waited anxiously outside Lok Nayak Hospital in Central Delhi while others came looking for their lost relatives.

“My brother is missing. We have checked in the hospital but can’t find him,” Badrikant Sharma, 34, from Sonepat. Another man, Kapil Tiwari, was hunting for his 20-year-old brother in the hospital.

“I was sitting with my elder sister in the crowd when we heard gunfire. I clinched my sister’s arm and ran. We both fell and suffered injuries,” cried Prabal Kumar, 24, who was recovering at the disaster ward. “The police shoved us in vans and got us here. My sister is still in pain. I am waiting for her to recover before we can leave.”

“Baba asked us to provide him cover from the police. My wife and I also joined in the crowd, when suddenly a thick cloud of foul smelling smoke enveloped us. Breathless, my wife Kirti fainted,” said Shamlal Singh, 35, a resident of Roorkee in Uttaranchal, who had come to support the yoga guru.

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