Delhi Police Commissioner B. K. Gupta on Thursday said if necessary more cases would be registered in the wake of the Supreme Court order directing the police to register criminal cases against the police personnel and members of the gathering at Ramlila Maidan, whether they were followers of Baba Ramdev or otherwise, who indulged in violence and damaged property last year.
The Delhi Police have already named Baba Ramdev in a case registered at the Kamla Market police station on June 5 last year, hours after the midnight crackdown on his supporters, for alleged rioting, assault on public servants, causing hurt and unlawful assembly among other charges. The Supreme Court has directed the police to complete the investigations and file a report within three months.
Mr. Gupta pointed out that the Supreme Court in its order had differentiated between the collective and individual responsibility of the members of the force.
“I find from the evidence on record that some of the police officers/personnel were very cooperative with the members of the assembly and helped them to vacate the Ramlila Maidan, while others were violent, inflicted cane injuries, threw bricks and even used tear-gas shells, causing fire on the stage and total commotion and confusion among the large gathering,” said the order.
The apex court directed that disciplinary action be taken against all the erring police officers/personnel who had indulged in brick-batting, resorted to lathi-charge and excessive use of tear-gas shells upon the crowd, exceeded their authority or acted in a manner not permissible under the prescribed procedures, rules or the standing orders and their actions had an element of criminality.
“The police personnel who were present in the pandal and still did not help the evacuation of the large gathering and in transportation of sick and injured people to the hospitals have, in my opinion, also rendered themselves liable for appropriate disciplinary action,” said the order.
Stating that the Bharat Swabhiman Trust, which had organised the yoga camp at Ramlila Maidan, had been found guilty of contributory negligence, Mr. Gupta said the Supreme Court did not find imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code mala fide. He said the power of the police to grant permission for holding dharnas and rallies had been upheld.However, the Court found the police action partially suffering from the vice of arbitrariness.