The Delhi Police on Friday justified before the Supreme Court its action in abruptly ending Baba Ramdev’s fast at Ramlila grounds on the intervening night of June 4 and 5 saying intelligence inputs indicated threat to the yoga guru’s life and preparations by his supporters for violence.
In an affidavit responding to the apex court’s June 6 notice after taking suo motu note of the unsavoury incident, the police said Ramdev had booked the Ramlila grounds and taken permission for holding a yoga camp while intimating the authorities that there could be a congregation of 5,000 people.
The police reviewed the situation after Ramdev converted the yoga camp, in breach of permission granted to him, into a satyagraha camp and started fasting. Moreover, the crowd swelled to nearly 50,000 by June 4, it said.
Specific intelligence inputs about threat to Ramdev’s life and his supporters storing brickbats indicating their intention to indulge in violence forced the authorities to clamp Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code banning a large congregation at Ramlila grounds, the affidavit said.
Once, it was clear that Ramdev had flouted the permission given specifically for the purpose of holding a yoga camp and there was grave apprehension about violence, the police were forced to act in public interest and evict the yoga guru and his supporters from the place, it said.
The court had dismissed a PIL filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal but taken suo motu cognisance of alleged use of brute force by the police to drag Ramdev’s supporters out of the ground after using tear gas to disperse the crowd on the intervening night of June 4-5.
The police denied using excess force on the supporters and said most injuries resulted from the throwing of brickbats and flower pots by Ramdev’s followers immediately after coming to know that the yoga guru was being asked to vacate the site. A vacation bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar had issued notices after taking suo motu note of the eviction of Ramdev. On Monday, it would be heard by another vacation bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik.