Ramlila Maidan ready for Ramdev campaign (Lead)

August 8th, 2012 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The Ramlila Maidan here is set for yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s campaign against corruption and black money from Thursday, with his aides expecting thousands from across the country to take part.

A similar show a year ago ended in violence and the death of a woman.

Ramdev told the media in Gujarat earlier in the day that he would take a morning flight Thursday to reach the capital.

“The ground is prepared. We have drained rainwater that had accumulated due to the afternoon showers,” Jaideep Arya, a key organizer, told IANS.

“We are expecting thousands of people from all over the country,” he added.

Thursday will mark the 70th anniversary of Quit India movement.

Speaking about the nature of the agitation, Arya said Ramdev alone would announce whether he would go on fast or not.

Ramdev supporters have already begun gathering here for a show that comes close on the heels of social activist Anna Hazare’s surprise decision to wind up Team Anna.

Hazare has said he will lend his support to Ramdev but it is not clear if he will actually make it to Ramlila ground.

Metal detectors have come up at entry and exit points to screen visitors, who are expected to flood the ground in the heart of the city.

Green colour carpets have been laid, tents and makeshift toilets have been set up. Colourful posters of the yoga guru have come up in and around the site.

According to another aide, S.K. Tijarawala, around 5,000 volunteers will work round the clock to ensure that nothing went amiss.

“Around 60 CCTV cameras will monitor the grounds. In addition, metal detectors and baggage scanners will be placed at all entry and exit points,” he said.

Delhi Police have given the organisers permission to host 30,000 people a day.

The yoga guru had staged a similar protest at the same venue in June 2011. But a midnight crackdown by Delhi Police ended in bedlam, leaving a woman dead. Ramdev was then forced to leave Delhi.

The yoga guru has been allowed to hold the ground till Aug 30.

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