Ramlila crackdown: Supreme Court pulls up police; says Ramdev guilty of negligence

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The Supreme Court has pulled up both the police and Baba Ramdev for the midnight chaos in June last year at the Yoga teacher's rally at Delhi's Ramlila grounds, which ended in a police crackdown on his followers and the death of one...

The Supreme Court has pulled up both the police and Baba Ramdev for the midnight chaos in June last year at the Yoga teacher's rally at Delhi's Ramlila grounds, which ended in a police crackdown on his followers and the death of one.

The incident took place on June 4-5 last year during his agitation in support of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption drive.

The apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports purportedly showing brutality of police action against the followers of Ramdev, including women and children, who were reportedly sleeping at the time of the crackdown.

Rajbala, a woman, had died due to the injury suffered in the police crackdown. In its order today, the Supreme Court announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for her family. The court also said that Rs. 50,000 be given to those badly injured in the crackdown.

The court found Ramdev guilty of neglience saying the yoga guru ought not to have continued with the dharna.

The court also rapped the Delhi police, saying the state and the police could have avoided this incident by exercising patience. It is an assault on the democratic values, the court added.

The Supreme Court directed criminal prosecution against police personnel and Ramdev's supporters who behaved violently during the incident saying the police and the state could have avoided the violent incident.

Public was the real sufferer, the court said.

Sources, meanwhile, have said that the police did not order a lathicharge against Ramdev and his supporters and that it was an individual decision. They also said that the police will study court directions on controlling crowds.

Ramdev had alleged the police action was carried out on the instructions of their political masters and demanded action against all people who had directed the mid-night crackdown.

Delhi Police, however, claimed Ramdev had instigated his followers to indulge in violence, forcing the police to act at that time of the night.

Ramdev was agitating along with his followers against corruption and demanding that the UPA government must make sincere efforts to bring back black money illegally parked in secret foreign bank accounts by tax evaders.