Yoga guru Ramdev finally had the upper hand against Delhi Police, who had unceremoniously removed him from Ramlila Maidan last year.
On Monday, Ramdev directed his supporters to march to Parliament via the Ranjit Singh flyover. Expecting a huge crowd, the police had already blocked all arterial roads leading to Parliament from the ground. Despite adequate arrangements — a 6,000-strong force comprising Delhi Police, CRPF and Rapid Action Force personnel — the security staff had a tough time reining in Ramdev and his over 5,000 supporters.
It was around 12.45pm when Ramdev asked his supporters to march towards Parliament.
The police had planned to stop Ramdev and his supporters at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Marg-Mirdard Marg crossing itself and send them to Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana in around 100 DTC buses already stationed there. The buses packed with the supporters were to reach Bawana via ITO.
But all their plans went haywire when around 1.30pm the sea of supporters reached the flyover that was blocked by DTC buses. The next one hour saw Delhi Police struggling with the protesters to take in preventive custody and send to Bawana. In fact, this reporter heard an old woman supporter telling the policemen, "Don't take me to Qutub Minar this time."
But most protesters refused to budge till the senior officers finally managed to convince Ramdev to get inside a bus around 2.30pm.
Chaos prevailed when the DTC bus carrying Ramdev started to move in the wrong direction and his supporters started marching towards Ramlila Maidan. Before police could act, Ramdev emerged from the bus's window, shouting slogans and also asking his supporters not to indulge in violence.
He also refused to be sent to Bawana, leaving confused senior officers no choice but to allow the crowd to proceed towards Delhi Gate via the no-entry road. On the way, around 3.30pm, the crowd also spelled outside the LNJP and GB Pant Hospitals.
Around 6pm, 30 DTC buses carrying the yoga guru and his supporters reached the Ambedkar Stadium at Delhi Gate. Till the time of going to press, their release order had been announced but the supporters had continued to create ruckus in the stadium.