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Baba Ramdev case gets curiouser

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
May 29, 2006 19:06 IST
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A day after Baba Ramdev said that his security had been breached by a Jalandhar-based journalist named Gaurav, the Himachal Pradesh police has discovered the man had been part of the yoga guru's group for the last ten days.

A Himachal Pradesh police team traveled to Jalandhar to verify Gaurav's antecedents. They spoke to the owner of Divya Times, a publication for which the journalist often wrote.

Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police Ajit Narain told from his office in Shimla that it was too early to draw any conclusions at this stage.

"We have booked Gaurav for possessing a fake police identity card and a fake newspaper identity card. What surprises us is that if this man was a threat to Baba Ramdev then he has been with him for the last ten days. He used to travel in their (Baba Ramdev's organisation's) cars. It was well known he was close to Swamiji," DGP Narain said.

The DGP said it is premature to determine if Gaurav has links with any terror networks since he has been changing his statements. Both Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Baba Ramdev have denied that they had ever said that Gaurav has terror links.

The case is being supervised by Daljit Thakur, the senior superintendent of police, Hamirpur district, who arrested Gaurav as soon as he alighted from the helicopter in which he traveled with Baba Ramdev and Chief Minister Singh.

"What is surprising is that he travels with Swamiji from Jalandhar to Chandigarh and nobody notices his presence till he lands in Hamirpur," added another senior state police officer.

The Delhi high court had turned down Baba Ramdev's request for Z-plus protection -- the highest category of security -- a few weeks ago.

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi