Indian activist slams police restrictions on his anti-corruption fast

August 14th, 2011 - 2:20 am ICT by BNO News  

NEW DELHI (BNO NEWS) — Indian activist Anna Hazare on Saturday slammed authorities for imposing restrictions on his planned fast against corruption, the Hindustan Times reported.

Hazare wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ahead of his fast and slammed the conditions imposed by Delhi Police on him for giving permission to fast. He questioned the rule under which restrictions are being imposed on him by police and said that no democracy has such restrictions for a peaceful protest.

The 73-year-old plans to start fasting on August 16 and to continue until the government passes an anti-corruption bill. However, Delhi police only gave him permission to fast for no more than three days. Hazare has refused to sign an undertaking that the fast will end within that period of time.

Earlier this month, supporters of Hazare burned copies of the government’s version of the Lokpal bill and slammed the legislation for exempting the prime minister, the judiciary and lawmakers. They called it the “anti-poor” law for excluding the office of the Prime Minister from the purview of a new ombudsman.

Hazare threatened to continue protesting the exclusion of some recommendations made by civil society representatives from the bill until August 16. The Gandhian social activist went on hunger strike in April to force the government to form a joint panel of ministers and activists to draft the Lokpa bill.

The bill follows a series of corruption scandals involving government officials. Transparency International ranked India, one of few yet to ratify the United Nations convention against corruption, at 78, placing it below neighboring rival China.

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