Delhi Police in line of court fire for midnight crackdown
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday indicted the Delhi Police for the midnight crackdown on the sleeping supporters of yoga guru Ramdev on June 4 last year.delhi Updated: Feb 24, 2012 00:27 IST
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday indicted the Delhi Police for the midnight crackdown on the sleeping supporters of yoga guru Ramdev on June 4 last year. It said the police abused their powers and acted arbitrarily in using batons and teargas to evict the agitators.
“They (police) are the protectors of the society and, therefore, cannot take recourse to such illegal act,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said, recommending criminal prosecution and disciplinary action against erring police personnel. The court described the action “as striking at the foundation of democracy”.
It said, “The use of teargas shells and lathi charge by the police, though limited, can hardly be justified.” Justice Chauhan, who concurred with Justice Kumar, described the police action as “tyrannical”. The police was let loose on innocent sleeping persons, violating their fundamental right, they said.
After examining the CCTV clipping and other records, the SC said the material before it clearly demonstrated indiscipline on the part of police personnel. However, it said the policemen lobbed the tear gas shells after Ramdev’s followers attacked them with bricks from behind the stage.
“The documents on record show that some of the police personnel certainly abused their authority, were unduly harsh and violent towards the people present at the Ramlila Maidan, whereas some others were, in fact, talking to the members of the gathering as well as had adopted a helpful attitude.”
Justice Kumar said: “The state and police could have avoided this tragic incident by exercising greater restraint, patience and resilience. The orders were passed by the authorities in “undue haste” and were executed with force and overzealousness, as if an emergent situation existed”.