Anna’s fast begins today after Centre yields
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 18: The stand-off between Anna Hazare and government ended today with an agreement showing give-and-take on both sides as the Gandhian will launch an indefinite fast here tomorrow for 15 days subject to certain conditions.
A breakthrough in the deadlock over conditions imposed on Hazare's protest fast was achieved in the small hours of the day after two nights of hard bargaining. But Hazare will spend one more night in Tihar jail as new venue was still not ready.
Hazare got from Delhi Police the spacious Ramlila Ground for his fast instead of the smaller J P Park, the venue initially given with a restriction of 5,000 supporters.
Significantly, Team Hazare made it clear that his fast would not be a fast-unto-death and he will be on hunger strike only till his health permits.
Hazare's close associates Kiran Bedi said the moment Dr Naresh Trehan's team is of the view that he needs medical attention, he will get medical attention.
Close on the heels of the deal, Team Hazare also hinted that it may not insist on inclusion of higher judiciary in the Lokpal Bill if government brings a "good" Judicial Accountability Bill.
The activists also pleaded that the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by them should at least be brought to Parliament for its consideration. Earlier, the deal was reached in discussions between his associates including Bedi and Prashant Bhushan and Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta.
In a sort of give-and-take, Team Hazare won a number of concessions but came down on the duration of the protest restricting it to 15 days. Yesterday, the activists were insisting on a longer period of at least a month for the protest.
Home Secretary R K Singh maintained that the permission given for the fast is conditional and is upto September 2.
"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 two on the usual sort of conditions," he told reporters.
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.
Apparently referring to the conditions put for fast earlier proposed in JP Park, the Home Secretary said conditions of a particular ground mandated a certain size of crowd as well as of available parking.
Team Anna has given a two-page undertaking to police in which they agreed to abide by existing rules and regulations and the crowd will not exceed the capacity of the ground, which is around 25,000 people.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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