SC attacks Delhi Police for crackdown on Ramdev

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today castigated the Delhi Police and yoga guru Ramdev for the midnight violent incident at the Ramlila Maidan last year and said it was a "glaring example of trust deficit" between the people and the government.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said that incident showed might of the state which struck at the foundation of democracy.

The bench further observed that the police and the state could have avoided that tragic incident in which one person died and several others were injured. "It is a glaring example of trust deficit between the people governing and the people being governed," the bench said, adding that police action is meant to bring peace but they breached peace themselves.

The apex court blamed both Ramdev and the Delhi Police for the midnight crackdown at Ramlila Maidan last year and directed criminal prosecution of police personnel and Ramdev`s supporters who had behaved violently during the incident.

The bench, however, said that the cops had assaulted sleeping victims and the police and the state could have avoided the violent incident. There was abuse of power by the Delhi Police and fundamental rights of people were violated, the bench said.

The court awarded a compensation of Rs five lakh for the family members of Raj Bala, who had died in the incident. The bench also awarded a compensation of Rs 50,000 for those who suffered grievous injuries in the incident and Rs 25,000 for those with simple injuries.

The apex court had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports showing brutality of police action against the sleeping followers of Ramdev, including women and children at Ramlila Maidan on the midnight of June 4-5 last year during his anti-corruption agitation. The bench had reserved the verdict on January 20.

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

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 foreign bank accounts by tax evaders.

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