The midnight crackdown on yoga guru Ramdev and about 20,000 of his supporters at the Capital's Ramlila Maidan in June was a planned operation "to serve a political purpose", senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who is assisting the Supreme Court as amicus curiae (court's friend), said on Friday.
In his 32-page written note to a bench of justice BS Chauhan and justice Swatanter Kumar, Dhavan said on the intervening night of June 4 and 5, the central government and Delhi Police used force to evict peacefully sleeping people from the ground.
He said the government also planned to mete out the same treatment to social activist Anna Hazare and his supporters two months later, but failed even after arresting Hazare.
Ramdev and his supporters gathered at Ramlila Maidan to protest against black money. Dhavan said although he was dramatic in his speeches, he did not incite the crowd. On the contrary, he exhorted them not to fight with the police.
He said the police – "serving their political masters" – used batons, water cannons and teargas shells and threw bricks on the unarmed people. More than 50 protesters and 38 policemen were injured that night. One of them, Rajbala, later died in a hospital.
The police later denied the charge of using force, claiming that teargas shells were fired only after Ramdev's supporters turned violent.
Blaming Ramdev for the "entire mess", they said he was permitted to use the ground only for holding a yoga camp.
"I don't think the police are telling the truth. Whether they accept it or not, lathis were used in the night," Dhavan said.
Referring home minister P Chidambaram's June 8 statement that a decision had been taken to oust Ramdev from
the Capital if he went ahead with the agitation, Dhavan said, "This suggests that the decision had been taken but suspended while talks were going on and when the talks failed the police were told to enforce the decision."
Dhavan said it is not possible to believe that information was not sent to the home secretary and the home minister. "The Home Minister and the Commissioner of Police were working together to decide what is to be done to Baba Ramdev."