With talks breaking down, police swooped down on Baba Ramdev a little past midnight and detained him after firing tear gas shells and resorting to lathicharge on his supporters to end his day-old indefinite hunger strike on black money issue.
The dramatic police action came after government and the 46-year-old Yoga Guru had accused each other the previous night of betrayal on mutual assurances.
The drama that broke the midnight calm in the Ramlila Maidan a little after 1 AM unfolded when a large number of police personnel descended at the protest venue where Ramdev was demanding immediate action to bring back black money stashed in foreign tax havens.
After day break, police cleared all the remnants of Baba’s support by evicting his followers from the protest site amidst stiff resistance.
Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said Baba Ramdev was detained as he was leaving the site.
Later sources said he was allowed to go out of Delhi and probably he was headed to Haridwar.
Earlier, Home Secretary G K Pillai had maintained that he was not arrested or detained, a point echoed by Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta, who also rushed to the spot.
Gupta said there were some security concerns and that the permission for the yoga camp has been cancelled.
He said Ramdev’s supporters indulged in stone throwing. Police did not use force except to use some tear gas, he added.