During its crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s supporters at the Ramlila ground on Saturday night, the Delhi Police did not show any mercy. The supporters were packed inside buses and dropped either at the bus terminal or the railway station.
As a large number of the men in khaki marched in at the ground around 1am, Ramdev was quick to take the microphone and shout “Vande Mataram” to awaken most of his followers who were asleep.
What followed next was a nightmare for the Baba’s supporters as most of them were dragged out of the ground forcefully.
“Many of us were sleeping when the police reached inside Ramlila ground. We were stuck between stone pelting and tear gas fire. Suddenly, every one started running towards the gates most of which were closed. Policemen even crushed the people who were sleeping,” said Vimla Kumari, 67, who had come from Sonipat to attend the camp.
Initially, the supporters sat down on the road but police removed them from there also and they started looking for shelters.
“There is an ashram nearby where a few of us took shelter. Some rushed to the nearby New Delhi Railway Station and many spent the night at the metro station,” said Rajbir Yadav, a member of the Bharat Swabhiman trust, which was organising the event.
Many supporters were pushed inside buses and taken to different location.
“I didn’t know where I was dropped in night but I had to return to the ground since my bag was there. During the time of crisis we want to support Baba,” said Krishna Singh, who had come from Banaras.
The organisers quickly turn to plan B and with the help of the coordination team, the supporters were traced and sent to their hometowns through any available mode of transport.
“The fast has been forcefully ended by police but we will continue our protest. There are many people who had come from outside Delhi and are not aware of the topography of Delhi. We are making arrangements for them and sending them home,” Rajbir Yadav said.
Over 500 supporters took shelter at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara fearing arrest. The organisers are still trying to trace those who have been reported as missing.