Yoga guru Ramdev has been booked across the country for "insulting" the Dalit community through his controversial "honeymoon" remark against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Yoga guru Ramdev addresses a press conference in Lucknow.(HT photo/Deepak Gupta)
Ramdev, a supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, made the remark in Lucknow on April 25 and has drawn flak from all quarters since then.
"Had he (Rahul) married a Dalit girl, who knows, he might have become the PM. Sonia says first become the PM and then bring a foreigner as bride. He goes to Dalit houses to have picnics and honeymoon," he had said.
The city Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, Ajay Patil, lodged a complaint at the Sadar police station in Nagpur on Sunday and submitted a video recording to substantiate the evidences that hurt the sentiments of Dalits in the country.
Read: Ramdev barred from holding yoga camp, booked under SC/ST Act
"We have requested the police station-in-charge to lodge an FIR on the basis of the VCD against the yoga guru immediately. If the police fail to take an appropriate action against Baba Ramdev, the NCP would launch an agitation in the city soon," said Patil.
Akhil Bharatiya Dhamma Sena, an organisation of neo-Buddhists, burnt an effigy of Ramdev on Sunday evening at the busy Variety Square in protest against his remarks on Dalits.
Bhim Sena, a Dalit organisation, too lodged a police complaint against Ramdev at Panchpaoli police station, a pre-dominantly Dalit area in north Nagpur.
"We have booked an FIR against Baba Ramdev. Now, we are investigating the matter and would refer it to Lucknow for necessary action as it's comes under the jurisdiction Lucknow Police,” said Dilip Khobragade, the police station in-charge of Panchpaoli.
Read: Ramdev lashes out at Congress in Himachal despite EC ban
"If the police fail to take an action against Baba Ramdev within a week, the Dalit organisations in Nagpur would ensure the closure of all medical stores which sell the medicines of Baba Ramdev," warned Sanghapal Meshram, a senior Dalit leader.
Nagpur has a seizable Dalit population and Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, along with half a million of his followers on October 14, 1956.
An NGO in Ahmedabad also lodged an FIR against the yoga guru for "insulting" the Dalit community and demanded action against him.
"Last night, we lodged an FIR under 'zero' number against Ramdev and later forwarded it to Mahanagar police station in Lucknow," police inspector DH Desai said on Sunday.
A zero FIR can be filed at any police station – even if a complainant is far off from the place of incident and he or she may or may not be sure of the correct jurisdiction.
It can then be transferred to the appropriate police station limits when details are available.
The FIR was lodged in Gomtipur police station in Ahmedabad demanding action against Ramdev under the SC/ST act.
"Activist Ratna Vora, on behalf of her organisation Ambedkar Karwan, filed the complaint against Ramdev who has made a statement that Rahul used to visit Dalit community people to enjoy picnic and honeymoon," the police officer said.
When contacted, Vora said Ramdev's remark was an "insult" to entire Dalit community.
"I was shocked after watching Ramdev on TV when he was saying that Rahul Gandhi visits Dalit family to enjoy picnic and honeymoon and I decided to file a complaint against him," Vora told PTI.
The FIR has sought action against Ramdev under section 3(1)(X) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act which stands for making insulting remarks pertaining to the caste or community.
The yoga guru was also booked in Rajasthan and a court case was filed against him in Bihar.
In Jaipur, a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against him.
Read: Ramdev faces poll panel heat, Dalit activists file complaint in Jaipur
"Some people showing newspaper cuttings, lodged a complaint against Ramdev on Sunday in Jyoti Nagar police station here. They said that their sentiments have been hurt by Ramdev's remarks and demanded action against him," a police officer told IANS in Jaipur on Monday.
Earlier, people belonging to the Dalit community protested against the yoga guru in the Rajasthan capital.
Some of the angry protestors blackened a poster of Ramdev, shouting slogans against him and demanding his immediate arrest for insulting the community.
In Bihar, food and civil supply minister Shyam Razak filed a case against the yoga guru.
"I have filed a case in the court against Ramdev for insulting and humiliating Dalits," Razak told reporters in Patna.
He said he has demanded jail term for the yoga guru.
"The right place for Ramdev is in jail. He has hurt the Dalits by saying that Rahul Gandhi goes to Dalits' houses to celebrate honeymoon," the minister said.
The Janata Dal (United) leader demanded the central government should lodge a case against Ramdev under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
An FIR was also lodged against the yoga guru in Lucknow on Friday for his comment.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)