Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Indian activist Anna Hazare to stage hunger strike

New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his followers will undertake a day-long hunger strike in the city on Wednesday.
A confrontation between members of the civil society and authorities was avoided Tuesday with Delhi Police allowing the protestors to shift the venue from Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to Rajghat in Central Delhi.

Delhi Police had earlier refused permission to hold the protest at Jantar Mantar since assembly of more than four persons was declared illegal Sunday in entire New Delhi police district following eviction of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his followers from Ramlila Ground.
Enraged followers of Hazare, who had undertaken indefinite fast that lasted 90 hours in April at Jantar Mantar, had threatened to assemble at Jantar Mantar despite denial of permission and court arrest.
However, following a meeting, Delhi Police offered an alternative site at Rajghat, the site where Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, which Team Hazare accepted reluctantly, paving the way to avoid another confrontation between authorities and anti-corruption crusaders.
"Led by Hazare, we will assemble at Rajghat tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, undertake mass hunger strike and discuss ways to continue our fight against corruption," said Arvind Kejriwal, a close associate of Hazare.

Team Hazare had boycotted sixth round meeting of the joint drafting committee set up following Hazare's April hunger strike to draft a stringent anti-corruption legislation following the manner Baba Ramdev and his supporters were evicted in a mid-night swoop.
They, however, made it clear that the Monday boycott was symbolic to lodge their protest and that they would attend next round of meeting, whenever held.
The committee is supposed to finalise the draft legislation by this month-end. However, there are allegations that the government is adopting tactics to delay it. Doubts are being expressed if the government would invite Team Hazare for the next round of meeting.
Earlier the two sides had locked horns with government refusing to include Prime Minister and senior judiciary under the ambit of the Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill



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