Himachal boasts of its own Annas (With Image)

August 25th, 2011 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 25 (IANS) Away from media glare, two men have been fasting in Himachal Pradesh for eight to nine days in support of Anna Hazare and a strong anti-corruption legislation.

The two are Desh Raj Sharma, 41, a former engineer of the state Public Works Department, and Lakshmi Chand Thakur, 67, a former state government employee.

Sharma has been on hunger strike for nine days in Mandi town.

He wants the prime minister, the higher judiciary and the conduct of MPs in parliament to be covered by any law aimed at combating corruption.

“Anna Hazare is a true Gandhian. We will support him till the government accepts the Jan Lok pal bill in totality,” Sharma told IANS Thursday.

Sharma was admitted to a hospital Aug 22 but he refused to accept food. He has been administered glucose since then.

Thakur, 67, hails from a village near Kasauli town. He has been fasting for eight days at the historic Ridge of Shimla, seated under the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

“I will be on fast as long as Anna is on fast,” Thakur told IANS.

Thakur draws nearly a hundred visitors daily. Most stop out of curiosity or to join his peaceful protest.

The heavy rains have failed to deter the former state government employee.
He has survived on water, with a few drops of honey.

Doctors examine him twice a day.

Thakur had also fasted during Baba Ramdev’s protest in New Delhi against black money in June.

“At that time I fasted for 10 days in my village,” said Thakur.

“Anna needs support across the country. I started alone. Now you see many people are coming daily to express solidarity,” Thakur said.

Health Minister Rajeev Bindal and his wife met Thakur Wednesday evening to enquire about his health. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal also met him Aug 20.

Motivated by Thakur’s commitments, four people have formed a “Team Anna Shimla” and have launched an indefinite fast.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

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