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Hazare told to choose another venue for fast
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
A day after the Delhi Police imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the Jantar Mantar area, leading to a widespread perception that the move was aimed at stalling Anna Hazare’s scheduled indefinite fast from August 16, it lifted the prohibitory orders today.

However, according to a senior Delhi Police official, this does not mean that Anna Hazare and his team have been given a go-ahead for holding the protest. In fact, the police has suggested the Gandhian leader that if he plans to hold fast for more than one day, he can do so at Ajmal Khan Park in Karol Bagh or at Burari grounds.

“The Delhi Police had received a letter from Anna Hazare’s team seeking permission for holding fast by Anna Hazare from August 16 at the Jantar Mantar. We asked them as to how many days they would want to continue their protests and the number of people expected to participate in the protest. Although we are yet to get any reply from them, we have suggested that a permission for only a day can be given and that too for not more than 2,000 persons at the Jantar Mantar and suggested alternative sites if he has to do it for a longer period,” said the official.

The provision of Section 144 CrPC (prohibitory orders banning gathering of not more than four persons at a public place) is usually invoked in the area around Parliament House when it is in session and the latest order had nothing to do with Hazare’s fast, the official added.

According to him, since Parliament session is to be held from August 1 to September 9, the orders were issued in routine yesterday, but these were lifted from the Jantar Mantar area today so as not to give an impression that the police is trying to sabotage Hazare’s plan. “We have neither denied the permission nor given it, as of now,” said the official when asked as to what the Delhi Police’s stand was.

Social activist Anna Hazare had announced to go on indefinite fast from August 16 at the Jantar Mantar in protest against the government’s refusal to include the Prime Minister within the ambit of the Lokpal Bill, likely to be introduced in the forthcoming session of Parliament.





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