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Rediff.com  » News » 'As long as he can, Hazare will continue the fast'

'As long as he can, Hazare will continue the fast'

Last updated on: August 18, 2011 16:34 IST

Anna Hazare will spend another night at Tihar Jail

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Activist Anna Hazare will spend the night at Tihar Jail and go to Ramlila Maidan on Friday to continue his indefinite fast against corruption, Swami Agnivesh told media personnel on Thursday.

Hazare and his aides decided to postpone the fast at Ramlila Maidan by a day as the ground was not ready for the protest.

Swami Agnivesh is scheduled to meet Hazare in jail today.

Rajesh Kumar, who has been supervising the preparations at the maidan since 1 am on Thursday, told rediff.com that 50 per cent of Ramlila Maidan had been refilled and levelled. The ground has the capacity to hold 40,000 people.

Reportage: Prasanna D Zore and Onkar Singh in New Delhi


Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare sign a banner outside Tihar jail
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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MCD officials making last-minute arrangements

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MCD officials have made provisions for only six mobile toilets for nearly 50,000 to 70,000 people who are likely to assemble there once Hazare starts his fast, said Kumar.

He added that the IAC would push MCD officials to make better arrangements at the venue.

Protestors in small groups have already started making their way to the ground.

A group of 10-15 people have started a fast at the main gate of Ramlila Maidan to express their solidarity for Hazare's cause.


Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare raise national flags during a protest march against corruption
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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'As long as he can fast, he'll continue'

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Anna Hazare will continue his fast till his health permits and there is no perceived threat to his life, his aide and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said on Thursday, stressing that his protest is an indefinite hunger strike and "not a fast-unto-death".

While indicating that there will be no confrontation with the government over the issue of providing medical attention to the Gandhian, Bedi said they do not view the agreement over Hazare's agitation as a victory for one side and defeat for the other.

"As long as he can fast, he'll continue the fast. But the moment Dr Naresh Trehan's team is of the view that he needs medical attention, he will get medical attention because the object is that it is an indefinite fast and not a fast-unto-death," she said.

"He will fast as long as he can sustain it, he will fast as long as there is no threat to his life," Bedi said, adding that the protest by Hazare was not just a fast but also a dharna.


Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare outside Tihar jail
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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'We heard them, they heard us'

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Bedi said the issue was linked to Hazare's health and that was why government doctors and physicians of their choice -- a team of doctors led by Trehan -- will monitor his health.

"His health cannot be allowed to deteriorate," she said.

Asked whether they saw the government climb-down as a victory of the civil society, she said, "It is all about finding a middle path. We heard them, they heard us and finally that was the way to begin."

Permission has been given to Anna Hazare and his associates for his fast at Ramlila Maidan till September 2 and it is conditional, Home Secretary R K Singh has said.


Image: A supporter of Hazare flashes a victory sign while wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Mahatma Gandhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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'This is not a question of victory or defeat'

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He said the government was not involved in any discussion with Team Anna. The Delhi police held the talks with the activists and resolved the issue "amicably".

"The Delhi police discussed with Team Anna and, thereafter, they have come to a decision. What the Delhi police conveyed to the ministry of home affairs is that the permission was given till September 2 on the usual sort of conditions," he told reporters here.

Singh said it was not proper to say the agreement was a victory for one side and defeat for the other "but the basic issue was that permission for certain ground and certain period was given with some sort of conditions".

"If someone is saying that this is a victory or something, that is not the right way. This is not a question of victory or defeat," he said.

The home secretary said conditions of a particular ground mandated a certain size of crowd as well as of available parking.


Image: A supporter of Anna Hazare prays during a candlelight protest against corruption in New Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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