New Delhi/Haridwar: The crackdown on Baba Ramdev and his followers in the middle of night in a swoop by Delhi police on Sunday set off a slugfest between the UPA and the Sangh Parivar. Following the high-profile drama, the yoga guru announced that he would continue his agitation against black money.

The first political fallout of the police action was the decision of civil society activists led by Anna Hazare to boycott tomorrow's meeting of the Joint Drafting Committee on Lokpal and the threat to resume the agitation in Jantar Mantar.

The police action of firing teargas shells and lathicharge on people in the Ramlila Maidan who were woken up in their sleep in the dead of the night drew sharply critical attacks from BJP and chief ministers Mayawati, Nitish Kumar, Prakash Singh Badal and Naveen Patnaik and former CMs Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chandrababu Naidu.

But the government and the Congress came out in strong defence of the decision to evict the 46-year-old Ramdev and legions of his followers, accusing him of going back on his word of withdrawing his fast after reaching an understanding on the issue of measures to bring back black money stashed abroad.

The political war erupted hours after Ramdev, who jumped from a three-metre-high podium and tried to escape disguised as a woman, was served with an externment order that barred him entry into the capital for a fortnight.

He was bundled into a police van before dawn and flown to Haridwar in a small plane. The police action came after the government and Ramdev traded barbs accusing each other of betrayal.

Ramdev threatens nationwide agitation

Angry at the disruption of his hunger strike, Baba Ramdev today lashed out at the government and targeted Sonia Gandhi over the "police barbarism" on his supporters while threatening a nationwide agitation.

Terming police action on women and children at Ramlila ground as a "blot to democracy", he claimed that there was a conspiracy by the Centre to get him killed and a threat was
issued to him during a meeting with senior ministers.

Ramdev, who was detained in a dramatic fashion at his rally before being flown here from Delhi, appeared shaken and upset, often nearing tears as he narrated the developments of
the midnight crackdown on his followers.

"The barbarism and atrocities inflicted by police on one lakh people crossed all limits...such atrocities were not seen elsewhere other than in China where thousands were killed, he
said, apparently referring to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

"The satyagraha has not ended...The government must answer. We will go door-to-door in every village across the nation to talk about the barbarism of this government. We will
again go to Delhi or if there is conspiracy to oppress us, we may sit on satyagraha at a place near Delhi," Ramdev said.

Attacking Sonia, he said "She is running government by remote-control. She is daughter-in-law of this country ...she does not love the mothers and sisters of this country."

Ramdev also said if anything happens to him, Sonia and Congress government will be responsible "The government, especially the Congress, do not want to see me alive as my
movement can expose their black deeds," he said.

Hazare supporters to observe hunger strike

Agitated over the treatment meted out to Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare-led civil society on Wednesday announced a day-long nationwide hunger strike on Wednesday in protest and decided to boycott the meetings of Lokpal drafting committee in another showdown with the government.

Accusing the government of having suspicious intent with regard to dealing with corruption, Hazare said the civil society would defy prohibitory orders on Wednesday at Jantar Mantar to protest the police action against Baba Ramdev's movement.

However, Hazare said he has "some issues" with the yoga guru and would not share the dais with him at Jantar Mantar.

"We have been interacting with this government in the Joint Committee for the last one and a half months. The incidents of the last night and the proceedings of earlier meetings clearly make government's intentions in dealing with corruption suspect.

"The government has been trying to crush anti-corruption movement. We have therefore decided not to attend Joint Committee meetings," he told a press conference.

Hazare said his side was writing a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is the chairman of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, asking the government to make its stand public on some of the key issues related to the anti-corruption legislation.

"We have already made our stand clear on these issues. After we receive government's response, we will decide whether any useful public purpose would be served in attending joint committee meetings," he said.

On Ramdev, the Gandhian said he has to "sort out" the issues with the yoga guru before sharing the same platform for any protests. However, he was quick to add that he supported the issue of black money raised by Ramdev.

Plea on Ramdev eviction at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court was moved on Sunday seeking direction to the central government to reveal details of the police action involving the detention of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and the eviction of his supporters from the Ramlila Ground here on the night of June 4-5 while they were protesting against graft. The matter will come up for hearing on Monday.

The yoga guru and his followers where on a protest against corruption and black money when action was taken against them.

Petitioner Ajay Agarwal, an advocate, has also sought details of all that transpired between union ministers Kapil Sibal and Subodh Kant Sahai and Ramdev during their negotiations Friday. The petitioner sought the information within three days.

The petioner has named Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal as the respondents.

Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and Delhi Police Commissioner B.K. Gupta are also among those named as respondents in the petition.
 
The petitioner sought directions restraining Sibal, Sahai and Bansal from making provocative statements 'justifying the uncalled for police action'.

The plea also sought direction to the home ministry, the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police to be present in court with the entire records, including the voice records, which led to the 'barbaric act' by police.

The petitioner said this record should be made available within 24 hours.

JPN/Agencies