NEW DELHI – Hundreds of police officers swooped down early today on the venue of a hunger strike by a charismatic Indian yoga guru and forcibly removed him and thousands of his supporters.
Officers detained Baba Ramdev for security reasons, but later released him, said Rajan Bhagat, a police spokesman in New Delhi.
Saffron-robed and bearded Ramdev and tens of thousands of his supporters went on hunger strikes across India and in several cities in the U.S., Europe and Africa on Saturday in a campaign to try to root out India’s endemic corruption.
Police said they had given permission to Ramdev to hold a yoga function with 5,000 people. “More than 40,000 people had turned up at the venue, and it was not possible to provide security to them,” Bhagat said.
Television channels reported that police sealed off the venue of the hunger strike and used tear gas and canes to disperse Ramdev’s followers, causing injuries to some people.
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