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Rediff.com  » News » Anna set to step out of Tihar jail, resume protest

Anna set to step out of Tihar jail, resume protest

Last updated on: August 17, 2011 12:20 IST

Anna set to step out of Tihar jail, resume protest

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The standoff in Tihar Jail likely to be over with Anna Hazare set to come out of the prison after a night-long protest demanding that he be allowed to launch his indefinite strike from a venue of his choice in the capital.

73-year-old Hazare, who is continuing his fast, is understood to have spent the night at one of the rooms in the administrative block of the jail premises along with his associate Arvind Kejriwal.

Activists Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar joined hundreds of protestors expressing solidarity with Anna Hazare outside Tihar Jail, while a large number of the Gandhian's supporters took out marches across the city.

"The government has bowed down. We will have to be prepared to go to JP Park in a peaceful manner," Agnivesh said.


Security has been beefed up outside Tihar Jail, even as thousands of people continue to maintain a vigil outside in support of Hazare and his team. A majority of the people said that the government has no business to send Hazare to jail, or to deny a democratic right to protest. They insisted that the government must listen and act against corrupt practices rather than spending time in parliament exchanging verbal blows with the opposition.

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Image: Anna Hazare

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Patkar, who reached the protest spot early in the day, was granted permission to meet Hazare after being initially refused to be allowed inside the premises.

Patkar approached jail authorities seeking permission to meet Hazare, who was lodged in the administrative block after he refused to be released, but was initially denied. However, later the authorities changed their stand and allowed her.

After the permission was denied, Patkar claimed that jail authorities told her that Hazare was not in their custody and could not allow her to meet him.

"It was a right to meet a man in jail. They told me that he is not in their custody and he is not a jail bird. Nobody could be given permission. This is a conspiracy of the government. They are not tolerating any basic rights," she said addressing the protestors gathered outside Tihar Jail.

Hazare was offered released on Tuesday night after the Delhi Police issued warrants of release for him and seven of his associates, almost 13 hours after they were picked up from the a flat in Mayur Vihar in east Delhi early morning and remanded to seven days judicial custody.


Image: Tihar jail

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Anna set to step out of Tihar jail, resume protest

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The Gandhian's aide Manoj Sisodia came out of the jail on Tuesday night and said Hazare had told the authorities that he will come out of the prison only after a written unconditional permission is given to continue his fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park, where he was to launch his hunger strike.

On Wednesday morning, sources said, Hazare got up at around 5.00 am and was involved in a discussion with Kejriwal and his other associates who are in the prison along with him.

Outside the jail premises, hundreds of people stayed through the night and expressed solidarity with Hazare and his campaign against corruption.

R K Saxena, a school teacher, said: "I am here to support this great cause. Government must accept Anna's demand for the welfare of the country."



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Shouting anti-corruption slogans and holding the national tricolour, people from all walks of life started coming in large numbers from early hours of the day and joined others who were standing outside the jail premises through the night.

Ashwaq, a 38-year-old businessman, said: "I am fasting with Anna and other supporters since yesterday. I will continue my fast till Anna is freed from the jail and all his demands are accepted by the government."

Morning walkers also joined the supporters demanding that the government release Hazare and his supporters.

Rakesh, a student, said "I am fasting with Anna for the bill and to uproot corruption from the country".

"It is inhuman to punish Hazare and others like this. He is fighting for the people and for the country. Government must pass Jan Lokpal bill," Rekha Lalwani, a DU student, said.



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