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Anti-graft activist blasts crackdown

Anna Hazare says Baba Ramdev has his support, slams government action

Anna Hazare during the fast Anna Hazare during the fast
  • India
  • June 9, 2011
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Anti-graft campaigner Anna Hazare yesterday slammed a federal government crackdown at the weekend on protesters staging a hunger strike against corruption.

“Baton charging sleeping people is killing democracy,” said Kisan Baburao Hazare, popularly known as Anna Hazare.

He was addressing some 2,000 people at the Rajghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, where he staged a “fast and prayer” in support of yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

On June 4, the yoga expert began a hunger strike in New Delhi, to demand the government get back money stashed overseas that was acquired through bribery.

However, the protest was broken up early on Sunday morning in a police crackdown which injured scores of protesters.

Hazare compared the incident to an attack on unarmed villagers in Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab state, during British rule.

He asked people to fight corruption peacefully.

Hazare wants the government to enact a bill that gives wider powers to an ombudsman to fight corruption.

Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi also condemned the police action.

“It was not at all right for police to use violent means on innocent unarmed masses to disperse them in the middle of the night,” the Archbishop said in a statement on June 7.

The prelate is among several social leaders who formed “India Against Corruption,” a movement to fight graft.

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