Kejriwal hits out at restrictions on Hazare’s fast

August 15th, 2011 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) A key associate of Anna Hazare Monday accused the government of a “dictatorial attitude” for imposing restrictions on the Gandhian’s fast against corruption set to start here Tuesday.

Arvind Kejriwal told reporters that the restrictions betrayed a “dictatorial and arbitrary attitude” and said Hazare would not call off his hunger strike.

He said the Delhi Police, clearly with the sanction of the government, was trying to obstruct Hazare’s protest meant to show the civil society’s unhappiness with the government version of the Lokpal Bill.

The police, he said, had told the organisers that more than 5,000 people could not gather at the protest site, only 50 vehicles could be parked, no tent could be erected, no sound system put up, and only government doctors could examine Hazre when he fasts.

All these conditions, Kejriwal said, were “unreasonable, unjustified”.

Kejriwal said while police were entitled to impose reasonable restrictions to maintain law and order, he wondered how a tent posed a security threat.

“It is raining now. Where will people take shelter if there is no tent?

“And why allow only 50 vehicles to be parked. Why not 100? Why not 75? How have they arrived at this figure of 50? It is completely arbitrary.”

Kejriwal said a sound system was a must in case Hazre had to make appeals in the event of any trouble.

“They are creating an Emergency like situation,” Kejriwal said, referring to the 1975-77 period when thousands of political activists were jailed and fundamental rights were suspended.

Kejriwal’s comments came only a few hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his Independence Day speech, said that hunger strikes were no answer in the search for a Lokpal Bill.

Kejriwal, however, made it clear that Hazare and his supporters would undertake the fast from Tuesday as promised.

“We will definitely go there and sit peacefully.” he said, and added that the option of seeking judicial intervention was not ruled out.

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