Hazare to fast at Rajghat, not Jantar Mantar

Delhi Police refusing permission for day-long hunger strike at Jantar Mantar tomorrow (June 8), civil rights activist Anna Hazare decided to shift the venue to Rajghat to avoid confrontation.

The announcement was made by his associates Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi, while contending the denial permission to hold peaceful protest was against the basic Constitutional rights of citizens.

Hazare and others will launch the day-long hunger strike to protest the crackdown against Ramdev”s congregation against corruption at Ramlila Maidan on Saturday night.

The Hazare-led protest will be held in the vicinity of Rajghat from 10 am tomorrow and will be accompanied by fast, an all-religion prayer meeting and a debate on Lokpal Bill.

“The Delhi Police Commissioner (B K Gupta) has told us that there is no permission to sit (on fast) there (Jantar Mantar) and directed us not to sit there,” Bhushan said about the venue which falls in New Delhi district where Section 144 has been imposed to prohibit gathering of more than four persons at one place.

“We are not fighting with them (police),” he told reporters adding that they had accordingly decided to shift the venue to Rajghat where Section 144 is not in force.

Kejriwal said, “we have no intention for confrontation. Our intention is only for peaceful protest.” At the same time, he said the denial permission was violation of Article 19(1) and 19(2) which gives freedom of speech to everyone.

Echoing Kejriwal’s views, Bhushan said the Delhi Police should not do this otherwise people will have to resort to other means to express themselves.