Anti-graft crusader goes on fast in Indian capital against corruption

16:21, June 08, 2011      

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India's anti-corruption crusader and prominent social activist Anna Hazare Wednesday went embarked on one-day fast in the national capital in protest against police action on yoga icon Baba Ramdev last Saturday, according to police.

Hundreds of people thronged since this morning to participate in the day-long fast at Rajghat in eastern Delhi where the memorial of India's Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi is located. The hunger strike has been going on from 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m..

A senior police official said that tight security arrangements have been made at Rajghat, with the Delhi Police chief B.K. Gupta personally present at the spot to oversee and review the arrangements. "We are taking no chances," he said pleading anonymity.

Civil rights activists, however, emphasized that all they plan is a peaceful day of protest.

"We want to have a peaceful day of prayer and fasting," said Arvind Kejriwal, an activist at the frontlines of the India Against Corruption movement being led by 72-year-old Hazare, who is a prominent Gandhian in the country.

He stressed that the hunger strike is a protest against the government's action against Baba Ramdev and his camp against corruption late on Saturday night, during which yoga guru Ramdev was evicted from the camp at Ramlila Maidan and 65,000 supporters were forced to disperse.

Hazare's protest also came in the wake of a near breakdown in negotiations between civil activists and government for an ambitious anti-corruption legislation, known as the Lokpal Bill.

He staged a hunger strike two months ago against what he called widespead corruption in the government ranging from the Commonwealth Games last year to a 2G spectrum scam.

Source: Xinhua
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