Sunday, May 29, 2016

Police Attack on Supporters makes one pregnant Critical

It takes all sorts of folks to run a nation, not most are smart while not everyone is dangerous. It’s invariably been a legitimate mix of two. Once folks with clean intents of selflessness and service come to the fore and are in majority we have ourselves hailed as ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ however times change, the instance which is now being bought up of brutal Indian Police Attack on protesters for a cause is one sure shot indication of such “changed” times.

Police Attack on Asharam Bapu Supporters gathered at Jantar Mantar

Since 1st September 2013, the night when Asharam Bapu was taken into judicial custody by joint operation of Rajasthan and MP Police from his Indore Ashram at 12:30 AM in Night by backdoor stealth, people everyday have congregated at Jantar Mantar to voice arrest of Indian Spiritual Guru on allegation of one girl claiming molestation. (In FIR, the girl only says Asharam Bapu put his hand on me, which has been translated to sexual molestation and rape by using POCSO).

Satyagraha, 12 May 2016, Delhi
Protest kicks off on 12 May
Satyagraha, 13 May 2016, Delhi
Snapshot of Venue Site on 13 May
Satyagraha, 14 May 2016, Delhi
14 May, Speakers and Persons at Dias
Satyagraha, 16 May 2016, Delhi
15 May, Jantar Mantar protest site

This protest has continued non-stop for over 2.5 years now, but the incident which shames our head and is the central piece of this blog post is of on night of 15th May 2016, Sunday. A massive Satyagraha and call for voluntary self arrest popularly known as 'Jail Bharo' Andolan in native Indian context was organized from 12th of May for indeterminate periods. Thousands of people from all walks, gender and strata of society assembled at protest site, Jantar Mantar officially reserved by Indian Government for holding all sorts of protest, at heart of India's Capital city.

Protest Walk and Jail in Afternoon of 15th May

Lazy afternoon of hot Indian Summer was transformed and vitalized with calls of justice and anguish for thousands of Asharam Bapu supporters, as they marched from Jantar Mantar to Parliament Street Police Station for self arrest in protest of atrocities meted out on their 79 years old Guru. This was also the culmination of several days of sit in protest organized at Jantar Mantar. No one had anticipated reverse police attack that too on innocent women and old men but it happened. Protestants gathered at Parliament Street Police Station, Delhi and started courting arrests.

Jails were soon full and people were still waiting outside on cue for their turn to get arrested. We hear, police of being heard saying they have no more space to arrest people and remaining should go back. Followers were no ones to budge. People kept pouring in the central space which was soon transformed akin Jantar Mantar protest site. Meanwhile, Nation’s social media was abuzz with this strange progress in India’s Capital. Twitter kept trending ‘#जेल_भरोAgainstInjustice’ with people sharing live pictures of protest march, the growing crowd or pictures around Jail. As dusk progressed there were good many people already inside jail with no fear of failure in sight. This was the high-point of two and a half years of patience and trust people had kept on Indian police and judiciary. Little did they know, police was meanwhile planning out evacuation strategy which interestingly comprised lathi charging men in enclosures after blocking out the only exit or charging on groups of women, moves to instill fear and chaos and then as parting gift, to register cases of rioting against them after having beaten them blue and black.

Protesters start walk towards Jail
Protest Walk towards Jail

On Wheelchair, but still there

Entering Jail Premises

Events building up to Midnight Mystery

The Ashram authorities were keen to mold this peaceful Satyagrah in their favor, so while supporters of Asharam Bapu were patiently filling up jails – a delegate of senior representatives from Ashram was dispatched to meet and apprise PMO of their demands and on-hand situation. Shri Rajnath Singh Ji is said to have ensured his action in this matter after 15 days. Meanwhile, there was interest all around in jail and social media regarding this interesting step. Few short videos of supporters from jail were released by official Twitter Handle @AsaramBapuJi of Asharam Bapu organization. We could see the people chanting ‘om om om…’, very much in health and vigor resolving not to get out of jail until major positive changes come their way. There was positive vibes all around with hope and promise floating high. Eventually at around 12:07 AM (IST) 16th May 2016, Asharam Bapu organization is said to have tweeted:

This would translate to “Respecting Honorable HM Shri Rajnath Singh Ji’s promise of taking a favorable step within 15 days, we announce this Satyagrah to be closed (sic)”.

ten thousands in jail
Bird Eye View of Parliament Street Jail, Evenings 16 May 2016

So, Satyagrah was officially announced to being ended from Ashram’s side few minutes after 12 midnight. This information was fast spreading among-st all people inside and out jail. While people in Social Media were cynical about having it ending this way, there still was an air of positivism and success at having received affirmative reasoning’s from Home Minister. Decisions were taken from inside jail and people would now have soon begun to recede in groups but…

The Attack

Beaten by Police, later in night
Night at Jail, self arrest for Asharam Bapu

The following accounts have been compiled from various twitters and face book posts that had been running hot that and the next day. Along with an ensemble of various photographs and a short video posted there-in. A total of 12 followers have been known to be injured, including one pregnant woman (3 months) whose child could be in critical state.
Police later attacked these people
Standing and Sitting, at Parliament Street Police Station
  • The attack started around 1 AM in the night of 16th May, when policemen entered courtyard like room where some male sadhaks where congregated, police barred the only entrance and exit to that room through which they had just come up.
  • The lights were ordered shut, after which police started beating up the assembled people blindly like one would to haystack or cotton bedding kept for the purpose.
  • Lights were closed, exit was blocked and in place stood policemen beating and striking everyone in the reach for letting raise the voice against atrocities and loop holes in execution of Asharam Bapu case.
  • Around 12:15 AM, Satyagraha was announced to be ending for this run after hopes of fruitful action from HMO in this regard. This was officially tweeted from the organizers as inscribed above. This prompted followers to start vacating the premises peacefully.
  • Around 1 AM many people had left and numbers of supporters had relatively diminished from the crowd in evenings. We believe, less numbers of left out supporters prompted Lathi-Charge which they were unable to instigate earlier fearing their own lives and backlash for self-protection from tens of thousands of absolute charged up devotees.
  • So, police acted only when Satyagrah had been announced to be closed and in process of voluntarily evacuation only few people were left behind. Finding courage to beat these out-numbered innocents, they applied all their force against protesting people.
  • While this does remind me heavily of the infamous Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab where Britishers opened artillery to all assembled peaceful protesting participants killing and injuring thousands after closing the only exit, the 4th June mid-night attack on Baba Ramdev’s camp should draw out an analogy closer home.
  • On 4th June 2010, Delhi Police again in midnight had come as huge armed forces and attacked ruthlessly all men, women, children and elderly persons most of whom had been then sleeping. Rajabala, (51 yr) died after struggling for 2 months in the ICU due to severe spinal injuries ensuing directly as a result of police attack on her that night.
  • In a short (upside down) video posted online people could be seen running away from the area in dead of night in groups all looking back periodically as if being chased by wolves. I guess we know, what kept them running.

The very next morning all news channels in India were ripe with news that police has booked followers of Asharam Bapu for inciting riot and violence including attacking police and harming police property in night of 16th May. How exactly was ‘attack on followers’ lucidly translated and made to interpret as ‘attack by followers’ will be covered in upcoming blogs? Till then keep watching this space and do leave a comment if you have any personal note to share.

In Hospital after being beaten by Police

Hands injured and grief stricken

Police did not spare even girls present there

Police bought her to this state

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