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24 hours that capped Baba’s protest

The police were on their toes till the yoga guru broke his fast and returned to Haridwar on Tuesday.

delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2012 01:38 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times

For Delhi police personnel, the last 24-hours-from Ramdev and his supporters beginning their march towards Parliament till their decision to leave Ambedkar Stadium-were very crucial. They not only had to cope with home ministry's pressure to vacate the stadium at the earliest, but also had to work consistently for successful negotiations with Ramdev.

After forcibly entering Ambedkar Stadium on Monday evening, Ramdev and his supporters stayed put at the football stadium the whole night refusing to leave the place. Senior police officers, including Devesh Chandra Srivastava, additional CP (central), made as many as seven attempts till 11 pm to convince Ramdev and his supporters for vacating the stadium. https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/8/15-08-pg-4a.jpg

Around 11pm Ramdev eventually gave his assurance to the police and asked his supporters to sleep and wait for further directions in the morning. Out of 6000-odd Ramdev supporters who were detained and released later by police, over 3,000 left the stadium by Monday night while others stayed back at the stadium.

While majority of Ramdev's supporters slept on the ground, some slept on the concrete stairs and in the stadium’s galleries. The volunteers were were not allowing anybody to enter the stadium without frisking at Gate No 8, the only gate that remained opened in the night.

Early on Tuesday morning, a 1,500-strong force comprising Delhi police personnel and central paramilitary forces were deployed outside the stadium and in adjacent areas. Except senior police officers, the entire force remained outside the stadium to make sure no law and order disturbance takes place.

Ramdev started the day at around 7 am with a brief address to his supporters, telling him about his decision to break the fast and leave the stadium by 11am. For the next one and half hour Ramdev led a yoga session with his supporters and then went around the Ambedkar Stadium meeting his supporters who had gathered there since Monday evening. Between 8.30 and 11 am, several devotional songs were played and the crowd enjoyed them waving the tri-colour.

At around 11.10 am, as soon as the additional CP came on the stage and requested Ramdev's supporters to disperse, the crowed started hooting. A few minutes later, Ramdev himself addressed the crowd for around 45 minutes and then broke his fast. The stadium was cleared by 1pm.

First Published: Aug 14, 2012 23:51 IST