‘Book cops for Ramdev crackdown’

The BJP immediately demanded 'political accountability' for the police action.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2012 9:37:48 pm

The Supreme Court today assailed the government for last summer’s midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s assembly at Ramlila Maidan and ordered criminal prosecution of the police personnel involved in the operation.

The BJP immediately demanded “political accountability” for the police action,and said union Home Minister P Chidambaram and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal,besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi,were “accountable and responsible”.

In the evening,Delhi Police commissioner B K Gupta said,“We will abide by the Supreme Court order in full letter and spirit… We will take action against those policemen who had used excessive force on protesters.”

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said the crackdown was “a reflection of the might of the state which struck at the foundation of India’s democracy”. It was “a glaring example of trust deficit between the people governing and the people being governed,” the bench said.

The court blamed both Ramdev and police for the fiasco,and ordered the prosecution,along with police,of the Baba’s supporters who had behaved violently.

The court awarded a compensation of Rs five lakh for the family of Raj Bala,who died in the incident. Twenty-five per cent of the amount should be taken from Ramdev’s trust,it said.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said,“Such an attack would not have been possible without political clearance at a very high level. What about political accountability?”

I & B Minister Ambika Soni said,“There was commotion,and the shortcomings (of organisers) probably provoked the police…”

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