New Delhi: The Supreme Court has told the Delhi Police to be ready with security camera footage of Baba Ramdev's yoga camp which ended with a late night lathi-charge, tear-gassing, and the arrest of the yoga icon while he was disguised as a woman.
The court has said it may view 31 hard disks' worth of footage to determine the sequence of events.
Baba Ramdev has challenged the government's version of what happened that night. The camp had been given permission to operate as a mass-yoga-class for 5,000 people. However, close to 65,000 people were present, the police has argued in earlier hearings.
Baba Ramdev is being represented by famous lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who said in court today that the police has to explain why water-cannons and teargas were used in a closed enclosure, risking the lives of thousands of attendees. Mr Jethmalani also wanted a notice to be served to Home Minister P Chidambaram on the matter - the court said it will consider this at a later point.
The yoga guru was on a hunger strike at his camp when it was disrupted by the police. He, like opposition parties, has described the government's action as "the murder of democracy."
Before he began his hunger strike, the Baba had promised the government that it would last only a few hours - a symbolic gesture to ensure that his followers did not feel they had gathered at his camp for nothing. The days that preceded the hunger strike saw extended negotiations between the government and Baba Ramdev, who said his fast was to protest against black money and the government's inertia in recovering it from foreign bank accounts. The agreement for a curtailed hunger strike was reportedly part of the compromise; when the Baba showed no sign of ending his fast, the government ordered the police to intervene and break up his camp.