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Govt sets riders for Anna's fast

New Delhi, August 13, DHNS:

It’s dictatorship, Hazare complains to PM

A new phase of war between the government and Anna Hazare over the Lokpal bill seems to have broken out, well before the Gandhian launches his fast on August 16.

Activist Anna Hazare along with Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

On Saturday, the activist shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention on the restrictions imposed on his proposed indefinite fast for a stronger Lokpal Bill. Hazare hit hard at the prime minister, saying his government “is murdering democracy” and crushing the fundamental rights of the people.

The popular crusader has accepted the venue, JP Park,  suggested by the police, but has questioned a host of restrictions — some 22 of them — imposed by the police.

“We will get ourselves arrested and fast in jail, if no place is provided,” he wrote. Team Anna declared that he would fast without accepting  any “unconstitutional restrictions.”

Fundamental right


In his letter to Manmohan Singh, Hazare asserted that the right to protest peacefully is a fundamental right. And no one can stop him from asserting that right.

He said he smells “dictatorship” in the process adopted by the Delhi Police in first denying Jantar Mantar as the venue for fast and later Rajghat, Boat Club, Ramleela Ground and Shaheed Park. Then came the restriction of limiting the fast to three days without giving any reason.

“Does it behove of you to crush the fundamental rights of people by murdering democracy and violating the Constitution? People say your government is the most corrupt since Independence, though I am of the view that every successive government is more corrupt than the previous one.

“Does it not smack of dictatorship from all these? Does it look good for you to tear the Constitution into pieces and kill democracy by suppressing the fundamental rights,” asks Hazare in his letter to Manmohan Singh.

He has alleged that the wrongdoings of the Manmohan Government had given a chance to the US to intervene in the country’s internal affairs. “Only because of these wrong steps by your government that the US has dared to intervene in our internal affairs,” Hazare has said in his letter.

Undertaking


However, senior member of the team Shanti Bhushan said the civil society group was ready to give an undertaking that the protest would be peaceful and all the required arrangements would be made by them for the people gathered at the venue.

In the ongoing war of words, Hazare and his team members Arvind Kejriwal, Swami Agnivesh and Kiran Bedi attacked the Manmohan government for “rampant corruption in the country and suppression of rights of the people”.

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