Baba Ramdev faces action in more states; Shankaracharya joins criticism of yoga guru

 Targeting Rahul Gandhi, Ramdev on Friday had said that the Congress vice-president visited the homes of Dalits for “honeymoon and picnic” — a statement that infuriated Congress and several others alike. (Reuters) Ramdev alleged the govt had pressurised the EC to put the curbs and accused Congress of "distorting" his remarks against Rahul. (Reuters)

After action by Uttar Pradesh authorities, yoga guru Ramdev was on Monday banned from conducting programmes in Himachal and was booked in Maharashtra and Rajasthan under SC/ST Act for his “honeymoon” remarks targeting Rahul Gandhi. But Ramdev said he would move to court against the curbs.

Terming the ban on his yoga camps as undemocratic, Ramdev alleged the government had pressurised the Election Commission to put the curbs and accused Congress of “distorting” his remarks against Rahul, that have been slammed as “anti-Dalit”, for vote-bank politics.

Chief Electoral Officer Narinder Chauhan said Ramdev has been refused permission to hold yoga camps in Himachal on the directions of Election Commission, which has instructed the states to ensure that no political activity be allowed  through non political programmes like yoga shivirs.

“We have passed on the instructions to district administrations for compliance. The request of Patanjali Yoga Peeth of Baba Ramdev to hold yoga shivir at Kangra, Chamba and Rehan” has not been granted, Chauhan said in Shimla.

Officials said the Election Commission had taken note of reports that “political activities” were being carried out through non-political outfits to help certain candidates and had issued instruction to all the CEOs on April 18.

The permission to hold camp in Kangra, which was scheduled for Monday, was withdrawn last evening by the local Subdivisional Magistrate.

On Saturday, FIRs were filed against Ramdev in Lucknow and Sonbhadra in UP over his remarks. Authorities in Lucknow and Amethi on Sunday banned all his programmes till May 16.

Two more FIRs have now been lodged against him in Nagpur and Jaipur under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act.

Police said cases are registered against Ramdev under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act by Panchpaoli police in Nagpur after a number of dalit organisations including MPCC Schedule Caste cell and city.

An MPCC delegation met Assistant Commissioner of Police Baba Dongre on Sunday to hand over a memorandum demanding that
Ramdev be booked under the Act following which offences were registered, police said.

Also, an NCP delegation led by Ajay Patil had lodged a complaint against Ramdev at Sadar Police station but no offence was registered there.

Protesters blackened Ramdev’s poster outside his local clinic Patanjali. Activists threw slippers at a poster and burnt it last evening, police added.

In Jaipur, a case under section 153A, 504 of IPC for abusing, hurting sentiments and insulting people and 3(1) of SC/ST act was registered on an FIR filed by a Rajasthan University Student Ravi Kirad against Ramdev, a Gandhi Nagar police station duty officer said.

The case would be referred to the Lucknow SSP office for further action, the DO said.

Scores of members of dalit community and organisations approached Jyoti nagar police station yesterday demanding that an FIR be lodged against Ramdev, its SHO said.

A complaint was lodged on their demand, and action would ensured after proper probe, the SHO said.

Protesters also burnt an continued…