Baba Ramdev faces arrest under SC/ST Act
NEW DELHI : Yoga guru Ramdev sank deeper into trouble after he was booked under the stringent SC/ST Act for his comment that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has “picnic and honeymoon” in Dalit homes. He is likely to be arrested as the law hands out high penalties for practicing or preaching untouchability. The Election Commission too cancelled Ramdev’s campaign for the BJP in Himachal Pradesh and Amethi, effectively shutting down his promotion of saffron party candidates.
After the FIR in Gorakhpur late on Sunday evening, two more FIRs were filed, in Patna and Agra, under the same Act on Monday. While Bihar food and consumer protection minister Shyam Razak moved a Patna court against Ramdev under the prevention of SC-ST Act, members of Dr BR Ambedkar Bar Association in Agra filed a case in the sessions court under the same law. A case was also registered against BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain in Agra for backing Ramdev’s objectionable comment.
The hearing in the Patna chief judicial magistrate’s court will come up on Tuesday. Gorakhpur-based lawyer Udai Nath, who filed the FIR, said, “The entire nation, especially Dalits, is angry over the honeymoon remark of Ramdev. It is an attack on the culture of the nation because he has abused women folk.”
Former government officer Paras Nath, part of the delegation that went to the police, said, “Ramdev’s remarks show his hatred of Dalits. He feels any leader who visits a Dalit home goes there for honeymoon.” Ramdev had stirred a controversy last week saying, “Rahul goes to Dalit homes for honeymoon and picnic. Had he married a Dalit girl, his luck could have clicked and he would have become the prime minister.” Later he apologized for his remarks claiming he was misquoted.
Razak told TOI that Ramdev’s statement not only insulted Dalit women but also portrayed them as commodity for entertainment. “The statement exposed the pseudo guru’s feudal mindset,” he said, pleading harshest punitive action against him for humiliating Dalits.
The petition filed by advocate Rajendra Kumar Kardam in Agra said Ramdev’s comment had insulted the downtrodden. He also objected against it for being a serious attack on the character of Dalit women. The petition also impleaded Shahnawaz Hussain for saying Ramdev said nothing wrong.