The police action on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his followers in New Delhi evoked countrywide protests on Sunday.
While the BJP spearheaded the protests by political parties, condemnation poured in from the civil society, Bollywood and the followers of Ramdev.
Protest marches and demonstrations were held across Uttar Pradesh. In Lucknow, the BJP workers led by the party's state president Surya Pratap Shahi, started a 24-hour satyagrah at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Smriti Upvan. Similar protests will be held at the party’s other district headquarters on Monday, a spokesman said.
In several cities of the state, Ramdev's supporters plan to hold a ‘Buddhi Shuddi Yagya’ – a ritual to meant to "cleanse" the minds of the ministers in the union government. Around 24 activists are on a fast and 55 are on a satyagrah, said Virendra Kumar Arya, the in-charge of Ramdev's Bharat Swabhiman Trust in Agra.
Protests were also held in Ghaziabad, where mayor Damyanti Goel said the UPA government cannot curb the voice of people. The BJP activists held a dharna in Etah and Kasganj districts too.
In Mumbai, the BJP workers, led by the party's city president Raj Purohit, began a day-long hunger-strike at Azad Maidan. In Nagpur, around 30 members of the Bharat Swabhiman Sanghatana and the Yuwa Swambhiman Manch were detained during protests, the police said. Similar protests were reported from Wardha, Chandrapur and Bhandara.
In Rajasthan, Ramdev followers remained uncertain about the next course of action. At Jaipur’s Udyog Ground, Dr Sarita Gurjar, in-charge of the state women's wing of Bharat Swabhiman and Patanjali Yog Samiti, said: “We will observe ‘black day’ for two days.”
The activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad held a protest at the Rajasthan University main gate. Some of them were arrested too.
Thousands of people staged demonstrations across Orissa as well. In Jammu, Kashmir National Panthers Party condemned the incident, terming it "barbaric".
The film industry too, came out in support of Ramdev.
Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said, "With this stupid act the govt has sent the message that peaceful protests no longer work.” "It is shocking to see how authorities have behaved with the crowds at Ramlila Maidan. SHAME," actor Anupam Kher wrote on Twitter.
With PTI inputs