'Cancelled permission for protest after provocative speeches'
Delhi Police has cited "provocative" speeches made by religious and political leaders, including Baba Ramdev and Sadhvi Ritambara, as the main reason for cancelling permission for the yoga guru's protest at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.delhi Updated: Jun 07, 2011 21:01 IST
Delhi Police has cited "provocative" speeches made by religious and political leaders, including Baba Ramdev and Sadhvi Ritambara, as the main reason for cancelling permission for the yoga guru's protest at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.
Police also said Ramdev and his associates refused to accept the letter cancelling permission for his camp and dared senior officials to do "whatever they wanted" to do.
Ramdev made a provocative speech in which he said his protest will end only with his death or if 1.25 crore people desired, they said.
Police said the organiser Bharat Swabhiman Trust had sought permission for a yoga session for 5,000 people from June one for 20 days but the numbers swelled to over 25,000 by June three midnight.
Ramdev and his followers were sitting on a protest against corruption at the maidan from where police evicted them on Saturday night after cancelling permission for the agitation, citing threat to the yoga guru's life.
In the FIR filed at Kamla Market police station following the police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan, police said though they had sought permission only for 5,000 people, the organisers had installed 800 toilets, numerous booster pumps and set up a 40-bed hospital inside the Maidan.
"On June four morning, the yoga session led by Baba Ramdev went on for three hours and it took the colour of a rally due to the presence of Sadhvi Ritambara, Mailana Kalbe Jabbar, Akali Dal leader Omkar Singh Thapar and other religious and political leaders and these leaders made provocative speeches.
"They urged people to intensify their protest and said if their demands were not met, they will not move out of the Maidan. Keeping their activities in view, senior officials held consultation and decided to cancel the permission for the camp," Surinder Jeet Kaur, the Station House Officer of Kamla Market, said in the FIR.
At around 12:30 am, Kaur said, police went to meet Ramdev and his associates Acharya Balakrishna, Acharya Virendra Virendra Vikram and Swami Sampoornanand, who refused to accept the letter cancelling the permission.
Ramdev, who leaped from the stage to the ground, addressed his followers through a public address system and asked women to form his inner security cordon while youth formed the outer one. He also asked the elderly to move to the back, the FIR said.
As more and more followers gathered near him, police said, he returned to the stage and continued his speech. In between, his followers used bricks and stones, flower pots and lathis, iron rods and fire-fighter spray and indulged in violence.
None of his followers listened to police requests to stay calm, Kaur said, adding police resorted to using water canons to disperse the crowd which had some effect. However, they gathered together with "renewed vigour" and began pelting stones.
Though a portion of the right side of the stage caught fire, it was brought under control, she said, adding that police resorted to lobbing teargas shells which resulted in the crowd dispersing.
The violence also resulted in damage to some vehicles, furniture, electronic and electric equipment in the premises.
"The followers and office-bearers of Bharat Swabhiman Trust gathered there and using dangerous substances attacked police and obstructed the functioning of public servants leading to injuries to policemen. Their act also resulted in causing damage to private and public property. They created a riot situation in a public place," Kaur said.
First Published: Jun 07, 2011 20:03 IST