Indian yoga guru ends his anti-corruption hunger strike

Indian yoga guru Baba Ramdev climbs onto the roof of a car to address his followers in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Baba Ramdev was released after short detention Monday, police spokesman says
  • Police detained Ramdev during attempt to march on Indian parliament building Monday
  • Ramdev wants repatriation of illegal wealth held overseas and stronger corruption protections
India's famed yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, ended his hunger strike Tuesday, a day after he was briefly detained at a New Delhi stadium for protesting alleged government corruption.
Ramdev's anti-corruption fast started on August 9 and ended Tuesday at the same stadium where he had been detained. The end to the fast was televised as many watched the bearded yoga teacher sip what appeared to be lemon juice.
Ramdev, whose yoga television programs have been watched by millions, is seeking repatriation of Indian money he says is stashed in foreign banks. He has also criticized the ruling Congress party, blaming it for chronic graft.
On Monday, police briefly detained Ramdev after he tried to lead an anti-corruption march toward the national parliament building, police said.
He was transported to the stadium, where he was detained for hours. Ramdev and his supporters stayed overnight at the venue despite being released.
He ended his protest fast and left the stadium with his supporters Tuesday after police told him to leave because of security concerns ahead of India's Independence Day on Wednesday.
During the protest Monday, several senior politicians from the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance joined Ramdev.
Ramdev also voiced a stinging assessment of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his handling of corruption allegations.
A government official offered his own criticism.
"Ramdev has lost his identity as a fighter. He has now succumbed to the pressure of (the) BJP and also the NDA partners. There is no doubt about it. To that extent he has completely lost his credibility," federal minister M. Veerappa Moily told reporters Tuesday.