People throng Rajghat to support Hazare's fast

People throng Rajghat to support Hazare's fast

A number of youths wearing Gandhi caps and elderly people were seen at the spot waving the tricolour amidst a heavy posse of security personnel.

A man dressed like Mahatma Gandhi was the centre of attraction as he sang Gandhi's favourite bhajan 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram'.

With Delhi Police refusing permission for the day-long hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, Hazare had decided to shift the venue to Rajghat to avoid a confrontation.

Civil rights activists had contended that denial of permission to hold peaceful protest was against the basic Constitutional rights of citizens.

The Hazare-led protest will be accompanied by an all-religion prayer meeting and a debate on Lokpal Bill.

A senior police official yesterday said they have refused permission for the fast at Jantar Mantar due to prohibitory orders at the site after the police action against Baba Ramdev in Ramlila Maidan on Sunday.

Rights activist Arvind Kejriwal said except Justice Santosh Hegde, all civil society members of the Lokpal Bill drafting panel will join the fast.

Appealing to the people to come to the site, he said the agitation is a challenge to injustice and corruption.

"It is an assertion of our fundamental rights to assemble peacefully and protest. We will do it and we are ready to face the consequences. In a democracy, it is extremely important that whenever there is injustice, people should protest against it," he said.

Kejriwal said everyone is angry about the "kind of atrocities" committed on Saturday night on the supporters of Ramdev. "It was almost an assault on democracy," he said.

"It is a people's movement. We don't have committed cadres so I can't say how many people will join but I hope many will turn up. There is so much injustice in this country and people have been protesting against that. What happened on Saturday night, what message the government is giving is that we will indulge in corruption and if you raise your voice, you will be crushed," he said.

Kejriwal said in the evening, they will hold a consultation on Lokpal Bill with the people. "If their suggestions are good, we will take it to the joint drafting committee," he said. The civil society members will attend the next meeting of the panel on June 15, he added. 

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