New Delhi: The dark hours in Ramlila Maidan that have been normally a witness to slogan shouting and singing of 'bhajans' saw another scene in the wee hours on Monday when a group of drunk men created ruckus at the site of Anna Hazare's protest.
Hurling abuses, over two dozen people picked up a fight with the media crew stationed at the spacious Maidan where Hazare is on an indefinite fast demanding a strong anti-corruption law.
The first scene of the episode unfolded around 12:30 am when a man in his early thirties came near the media enclosure and started uttering deregatory words. He then entered the enclosure and refused to move out.
Police was called in and after much persuasion, he was taken out. Policemen were heard telling media persons that they cannot detain him as they do not have orders to take action against protesters.
Peace that returned to the ground was shortlived as a group of around 30 drunk men surfaced in the ground 90 minutes later demanding that the media interview them. Some of them tried to damage barricades and started hurling abuses.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Vivek Kishore rushed to the spot as policemen were unable to control the group. Police formed a cordon to prevent anyone from entering the media enclosure.
"We apologise for their (drunk men) behaviour but please do not report this incident as it could have a negative impact on our movement," pleaded one volunteer.
As order returned to the Maidan, volunteers started a clean up operation by picking up left over trash from the area where the drunk men had gathered.
"Our hands are tied. We have instructions from the top...We cannot take any action," said a policeman, adding that "if we take any action now, media will be the first one to air that on TV putting our jobs at risk."
"We know how to teach them a lesson right now but not without orders," said another policeman.
Police are not even allowed to carry lathis under the instructions from the top, he said.
Soon after, a man in his late twenties fainted in the Maidan due to weakness. He was taken to the medical camp set up inside the Maidan where he was being treated by doctors.