Anti-Corruption

Baba Ramdev’s Fast Against Black Money, Corruption Ends

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: Yoga teacher Baba Ramdev’s fast against black money ended at a hospital in Dehradun where he was force-fed (administered glucose) by doctors there. Doctors who examined him said his hunger strike, that lasted for seven days, had affected his liver and caused his blood pressure to drop significantly.

Amid high drama, Ramdev, who was on an indefinite fast against corruption, was shifted to a hospital in Dehradun as doctors attending on him opined that his health parametres were “worrisome.”

File photo of Ramdev

A Patanjali Yogapeeth spokesman claimed the decision to shift Ramdev to a hospital was taken by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who gave directions to the Haridwar District Magistrate on this.

The 46-year-old yoga guru is being “taken to Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences in Dehra Dun”, G S Martolia, SSP, Dehra Dun, told PTI.

His followers present at Patanjali Yoga Peeth, where Ramdev was sitting on hunger strike, raised slogan against the district administration on making decision to shift him to the hospital. Some protestors even clashed with police when the yoga guru, who was on a fast against corruption and black money, was being taken on a stretcher. However, it was resolved immediately with the help of ashram authorities.

“His blood pressure is 104/70 which is low and pulse rate is 58 per minute which is also low. If his pulse rate and BP continue to go down, it may put some pressure on his heart,” Chief Medical Officer Yogesh Chandra Sharma said after examining the Baba at his ashram.

In Delhi, activist Swami Agnivesh met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the Ramdev crisis. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar has gone to meet Baba Ramdev at the hospital. He earlier confirmed that he is mediating between the government and Baba Ramdev, who had been at war since Saturday night, when Ramdev was evicted from his camp in Delhi where he had combined a sit-in protest with yoga classes and the launch of his hunger strike.

The yoga icon whose followers run into lakhs started his fast in Delhi at the Ramlila Maidan.  65,000 people were in attendance on Saturday night when the police broke up the camp with teargassing and a lathicharge. The Baba was evicted and flown back to Uttarakhand.

The action at Ramlila Maidan ended days of negotiation between the government and the Baba over his suggestions for how to tackle the problem of crores of untaxed money that have been shipped abroad. The late-night violence united Opposition parties who accused the government of violating citizens’ right to peacefully protest.  Civil activists who have declared Gandhian Anna Hazare their leader pounded the government too, with public criticism and a one-day fast at Rajghat on Wednesday.

The government has disclosed that various tax inquiries are being conducted against the Baba’s business empire whose reported turnover is more than a thousand crores. Yesterday, the Baba retaliated by declaring online the balance sheets of the four trusts that he runs for charitable purposes.  However, he did not share the financial records of the 34 companies that are linked to him and are run by his close aide, Acharya Balakrishna.

The Baba has also been forced to defend a controversial remark he made earlier this week – that he would recruit 11,000 young men and women who would reciprocate if attacked.   Yesterday, he said his remark had been distorted and misreported. “The words should be used in the right context… I said I will make a force who will not beat anyone but they will not get beaten either,” the yoga teacher said, adding, “what is the harm or wrong if I speak about shaurya (valour)”

The Baba’s remark – seen as incendiary by his critics – had also provoked criticism from other social activists and a warning of legal action from the government.

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