Hours after the Supreme Court criticised the government and the police for the midnight crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his followers at Ramlila Maidan last year and sought prosecution and disciplinary action against erring police personnel,Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta cited the court ruling to underline that there was no order for a lathicharge as alleged by Ramdev and his supporters.
Gupta said action would be taken against those policemen who exceeded their brief and resorted to excessive use of force while dealing with the gathering at Ramlila Maidan. We will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court in full letter and spirit, he said.
Criminal cases would be registered against policemen and members of the gathering for violence and destruction of public property. The Delhi Police will also review footage of TV channels and record statements.
The court has differentiated between policemen who helped protesters leave the venue and another category of erring personnel who indulged in brickbatting and resorted to lathicharge. We have to take disciplinary action against these policemen… we will first register a case and then take action, Gupta said. He added that cases against those who indulged in violence have been registered at the Kamla Market police station.
He referred to the contributory negligence of Bharat Swabhiman Trust whose leaders did little to contain the situation. We have to study the full judgment and submit our report within three months, he said.
Leading lawyer Ram Jethmalani,who appeared for Ramdev,called a press conference after the Supreme Court ruling and demanded the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram,holding him responsible for the police action.
The Delhi Police is less guilty than what the Supreme Court thinks. Those guilty are the political masters who allowed this to take place, Jethmalani said.
Ramdev who sat next to Jethmalani said he had not seen the full judgment and would give a detailed response later. He said he would continue his fight against corruption and black money.
Jethmalani said: The Supreme Count has found that police acted hastily and there was no emergency of any kind as they had pretended… In my mind,Ramdev has won the case.
Attacking the government,he said: The government is more sick. Ramdev is a well known yoga guru. They (government) need his yoga lesson.
Ramdev said he would not hold the Delhi Police responsible as instructions had come from the top. He claimed that senior police officials were in constant touch with the Home Ministry during the police action.