Independent legislator Ravi Rana, who is also a close associate of Baba Ramdev, was arrested by the Delhi police on Sunday, during the crackdown on protesters at the Ramlila Maidan, the venue of the yoga guru’s hunger strike on June 4.
Calling it a classic example of “sarkari goondagiri” (government hooliganism), 28-year-old Rana was released after being jailed for four hours. He said, “Even British rulers were not as harsh on freedom fighters. After my release, I was forced out of Delhi by authorities.”
Rana, who was one of Ramdev’s negotiators in talks held with the Centre, accused the government of backtracking on its word.
“Initially, we thought the government is serious about tackling the issue of black money. Now we have realised that they are involved in the whole issue as well,” said Rana.
“It is shameful that at 11.30pm on Saturday, they assure us that Baba Ramdev’s conditions will be met and at midnight, they launch a barbaric attack on innocent people. This is unacceptable in a democratic setup,” Rana added.
Significantly, Rana supports the Congress-led United Democratic Front government in the assembly and is close to several Congress ministers. Rana has now said he will decide if he wants to support the state government only after meeting chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
“Till now, I only cooperated with them to get development work in my constituency done. I will decide what my next step should be after the meeting,” he said.
Rana, who is from Badnera constituency in Amravati, Vidarbha, grabbed headlines in February this year when he married film actor Navneet Kaur in a mass marriage ceremony where 3,100 couples tied the knot in the presence of Baba Ramdev.