Delhi Police on Friday justified in the Supreme Court its midnight crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his supporters protesting against corruption and black money at the Ramlila Maidan here, saying permission had been given only to hold a yoga camp.

In its affidavit filed before the court, the police said that the congregation was allowed only for yoga camp and for no other purpose.

It further said permission was granted only for a gathering of 5,000 people but on the intervening night of June 4 and 5, more than 20,000 people had gathered at Ramlila ground.

The police submitted in court that it resorted to lobbing tear gas shells only after followers of Baba Ramdev started pelting stones at police personnel.

The response of the police came after the court took suo motu cognisance of the crack down.

The court had issued notices to the Union Home Secretary, Delhi Chief Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner, and had asked them to respond within two weeks about the circumstances that led to the operation.

The police maintained no force was used against Baba Ramdev’s followers and also refuted allegations of lathicharge against them.

The apex court had expressed concern over the “police atrocities” and use of “brutal force” to disperse the “innocent” people gathered at the site.

The court had also taken note of articles and reports published in national dailies depicting the “sad state of affairs and brutality of the state in dealing with its innocent citizens”.

More In: National | News | Delhi