NEW DELHI — Indian police fired tear gas early Sunday to break up a hunger strike by a charismatic yoga guru demanding an end to endemic corruption, forcibly removing him and thousands of his followers.
The guru said he will continue his hunger strike and organize nationwide protests this week against the police action.
“It’s a blot on democracy and a conspiracy to kill me,” he said.
He accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government of reneging on a promise to take swift action against Indians who have stashed millions of dollars illegally in safe havens abroad.
He also said he evaded police for nearly two hours by dressing in women’s clothes - a loose white shirt and trousers - during the police raid.
Television stations reported that police sealed off the venue and used tear gas and canes to disperse Mr. Ramdev’s followers, injuring some people. Television images showed police firing tear gas and people attacking security forces with stones.
Nitin Gadkari, president of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, condemned the police raid and said his party will hold countrywide protests.
For years, Mr. Ramdev has contorted his body through a series of complex yoga poses, drawing tens of millions of people to his television show.
As he launched the hunger strike Saturday, he vowed to battle the pervasive culture of corruption in a country where attempts to get a driver’s license or set up a business involve paying bribes.View Entire Story
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