Government had ‘bounden’ duty to maintain peace: PM (Lead)

August 17th, 2011 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) The government had a “bounden duty” to maintain peace, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday as protests continued over the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare ahead of his planned fast-unto-death for a more powerful Lokpal bill.

Accepting the demand of the opposition, the prime minister made a statement in the Lok Sabha on the arrest and subsequent release of Hazare. Hazare refused to be released and continued to remain inside the Tihar Jail Wednesday morning.

He said it was his painful duty to report on Hazare’s arrest and added that every citizen had the right to hold peaceful protest but there was a way to do it.

“Anna Hazare-ji insisted that their version of Lokpal Bill be passed. Delhi government was forced to impose the restrictions to maintain law and order situation,” he said.

The prime minister said the Lokpal Bill must be passed as early as possible but the debate is about who makes the law.

Detailing the reasons that led to Delhi Police arresting him, the prime minister said he “sincerely hoped that the incidents of yesterday will not be repeated”.

He appealed for the smooth functioning of parliament and said important legislations needed to be passed. If that were not done, it would be an injustice to the people of India.

Manmohan Singh was constantly heckled by the opposition and at several times had to pause in the reading out of the statement.

The prime minister later read out the statement in the Rajya Sabha too.

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