Ramdev, ex-army chief join protests


New Delhi : Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and former army chief V.K. Singh Sunday joined the protests against the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman here and condemned the police crackdown on protesters voicing anger against the incident.

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Ramdev reached the Jantar Mantar standing atop a bus and addressed the crowd, along with the former army chief.

When the yoga guru tried to march towards the epicentre of the protests at India Gate, just over two kilometres away, he was stopped by police.

As soon as Ramdev and V.K. Singh got down from the dais at Jantar Mantar, police cordoned off the area and did not allow them to leave, an aide of the yoga guru said.

Some of Ramdev’s supporters allegedly had a scuffle with police in an attempt to break the barricades. According to members from Ramdev’s team, two people were injured.

“They had barricaded Jantar Mantar and we were not allowed to move,” said an aide of the yoga guru.

Speaking at Jantar Mantar earlier, Ramdev demanded death sentence for the rapists and blamed police for not providing enough security to women on roads.

“The government should set up fast-track courts and punish all the rapists. We want death penalty for all the accused,” he said.

“I condemn police brutality against the peaceful youngsters,” he added.

Ramdev later went to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where protestors injured in the police action at India Gate and surrounding areas were taken.

Massive protests were witnessed at India Gate and surrounding areas, with police resorting to water cannons and tear gas shells to stop the crowd. The protestors have been demanding justice for the rape victim and stronger anti-rape laws.