It was a battle between 5,000 security personnel and 10,000 supporters of Baba Ramdev that finally ended with the yoga guru’s detention and eviction of his supporters from Ramlila Ground in the wee hours on Sunday.
Claiming to have received intelligence input that there was a threat to the yoga guru’s life, a team of Delhi Police reached Ramlila Ground at 1 am to convince him to leave that place.
“Instead of coming down from the stage he jumped into the crowd. This led to confusion and crowd started pelting stones at the security personnel. Since there was threat to the yoga guru’s life and the number of followers was much more than the permissible limit of 5,000 people, we had to take him out of the ground,” Dharmendra Kumar, Special Commissioner of Police (law and order) said.
But the late night action by the police resulted in chaos as a minor fire broke out near the stage. Panic-stricken crowd started running leading to a stampede.
“This is not the way to treat women and children. We were dragged outside the ground. Many people have gone missing and several others are injured,” said Shobha Rani who had come from Rajasthan to attend the camp.
Supporters claimed that some policemen even lathicharged the crowd. Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta was leading the operation. Police claimed they chose late night to launch the operation because the crowd was less.
“When our men moved to detain Baba Ramdev, his followers came in the way and started pelting stones, flowerpots and whatever they could lay their hands on. A scuffle broke out between the police and supporters, causing injuries to supporters as well as policemen. To control the situation, the police lobbed eight teargas shells,” Kumar added.
According to the police, 39 supporters including four women and 23 policemen sustained injuries, but were discharged after first aid.
“During the first day of the camp, no yoga training was organised and leaders from political and religious organisations incited followers through provocative speeches. There were over 50,000 people present at Ramlila Ground on Saturday while the permission was only for 5,000,” Kumar further said.
A case of rioting, damage to public property and obstruction to public servant in discharge of public duties has been registered at Kamla Market police station.