Justifying the June 5 midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his supporters at the Ramlila Maidan, Delhi Police told a Supreme Court bench that permission was given only to hold a yoga camp and there was a threat to yoga guru’s life.
In response to a Supreme Court notice, Delhi Police filed an affidavit through advocate Anil Katiyar saying that the midnight crackdown and firing of eight shells of teargas took place only after Ramdev’s supporters turned violent. The police alleged the supporters first started pelting stones at police personnel.
Delhi Police further said Ramdev was only permitted to hold a yoga camp for 5,000 people but more than 20,000 people assembled at the ground where religious leaders instigated them.
According to the affidavit, the crowd got violent when the police reached there to inform the yoga guru that the gathering was against the permission.
The affidavit further claimed that a senior police officer had personally gone to meet Ramdev and inform him about an intelligence input that there was a threat to his life. Instead of paying heed to the officer’s request, the yoga guru apparently ran away from the dais and started instigating the supporters.
Delhi Police further denied that the people at Ramlila Maidan were asleep at the time of the crackdown.
Delhi Police have annexed the intelligence input reports and an FIR in support of its affidavit. Unedited video footage of the police action was also submitted to the court.
On the basis of news reports, an Supreme Court bench took suo-motu cognisance of the alleged use of “brutal force” to disperse the innocent people gathered at the Ramlila Ground on the intervening night of June 4 and 5.
Expressing concern over the police atrocities, the apex court gave two weeks time to the police, Union Home Secretary and Delhi chief secretary for filing their response.