2011-06-04 Baba Ramdev taken into police custody detained in Delhi and taken to Haridwar

The popular Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev went on a hunger strike June 4, 2011 to protest corruption in India. Thousands of supporters gathered in Delhi and other locations around the country to join the protest.

The police cracked down on the protest using tear gas shells upon the crowd after protesters apparently threw rocks at them. Ramdev was taken into custody and detained in Delhi and then taken to Haridwar. This comes after the government pleaded with Ramdev to end the hunger strike which is set to continue to the death until the popular Swami's demands were met.

The swami has demanded:

  • 1) Black money stashed in banks abroad returned to India
  • 2) Death penalty for those guilty of corruption
  • 3) Currency of high denomination be withdrawn.

Similar hunger strikes took place in a number of cities all across India, including Orissa and Mumbai.

This is coming amid the heated debate over the Lokpal bill, in which members of the Civil Society threatened to walk out of the discussions if their demands were not met. Primarily at issue, is for the PM and other high level officials to be included in the purview of the law which seeks to deal with the black money issue.

The current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has grown increasingly unpopular because of corruption, the Commonwealth Games problems in 2010 and the telecoms scandal.

The government of India has set up a panel to deal with the black money. The Finance Ministry briefed Ramdev and discussions were ongoing among the various parties. The opposition party, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, has aligned with the swami. Justice N Santash Hegde, a member of the Lokpal Committee, also wants the PM to be brought into the purview of the law.

Baba Ramdev

By resorting to such high handed and authoritarian measures towards a 'peace act'of Baba Ramdev, shows the callous disregard to democratic norms by the New Delhi Government!

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