We are with Hazare, say activists in Uttar Pradesh

April 7th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, April 7 (IANS) While three social activists continued with their hunger strike for the third day here Thursday, people from different walks of life staged peaceful demonstrations to support social activist Anna Hazare’s crusade for a stringent anti-graft bill.

Akhilesh Saxena, Indu Singh and Munna Lal are on a fast at the Jhulelal Park near the Lucknow University since Tuesday. Students, teachers, doctors and other professionals staged a sit-in at the site to support Hazare’s fast-unto-death in New Delhi to press for the civil society’s say in drafting the anti-graft Lokpal Bill.

“We have made it quite clear that we would continue with the fast till the central government assures that formulation of the Lokpal Bill would be completely on the lines proposed by Hazare,” Saxena, co-ordinator of the Uttar Pradesh RTI Council, told reporters.

“People from all sections of life and backrgrounds are visiting us to extend their support as they also know that Anna Hazare’s campaign is in national interest,” he added.

The activists have drawn up an alternative ‘Jan Lokpal Bill’ which calls for setting up the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (in states) independent of the government’s control.

In the activists’ version of the legislation, investigation in a graft case will have to be completed in a year, and punishment would be a jail term of minimum five years and maximum of life imprisonment.

The government recommends a prison term of minimum six months and maximum seven years as punishment for corruption.

The protesters assembled at the Jhulelal Park under the banner of India Against Corruption.

“Not only from Lucknow, people from Barabanki, Hardoi, Bahraich and Sitapur are also backing us. Though they are not observing the hunger strike, they are staging demonstrations here and encouraging us to continue with our fast,” said Saxena.

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