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Ready to face arrest for protest against graft, says Kejriwal

New Delhi, September 3
Voicing his protest against harassment of India Against Corruption (IAC) activists, Arvind Kejriwal Monday said they were ready to face punishment if the government felt that protesting against corruption was akin to breaking the law, and added that they would continue to do so in future.

Kejriwal said the IAC, headed by him, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Delhi Police protesting against the "harassment" of supporters who participated in the Aug 26 protest outside the houses of the prime minister, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari against coal block allocations.

Reading from the letter to his supporters gathered outside Parliament Street police station, Kejriwal said: "We are ready for the punishment but our supporters should not be harassed.

"The police has been harassing our supporters. We have told police to arrest us and not harass our volunteers. We are responsible. We will accept the charges and we are ready to face the punishment.

"We have said that whatever we did on Aug 26 was for the country. If it is a crime for the government, we are ready to face punishment. We will continue to do that in future also. If you mean that fighting against corruption is breaking the law, then we have broken the law and we will keep breaking this law," he said.

Kejriwal said, "We have sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Monday). We have asked police to consider it as our confession statement. We have also asked police that we want to record our statement before a magistrate. They said they will get back to us."

In the letter, the activists said they were admitting they had violated prohibitory orders clamped that day and would continue to do so in fighting corruption.

"We have been accused of rioting and provoking riots. If you ask the people, they will tell it is Congress and BJP which are spreading riots in the country. But if according to your law, we are into rioting, then we admit our guilt and are ready to face punishment," the letter said. Cases of rioting and defying prohibitory orders have been registered against six IAC members - Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia, Neeraj Kumar, Kumar Vishwas and Gopal Rai as well as several unidentified people for the Aug 26 protest. IANS

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