New Delhi: Peeved at being denied permission to hold an indefinite fast from August 16 on a venue desired by him, Anna Hazare on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing the government of "crushing" the fundamental rights of people.

READ MORE: Anna address on August 15 irks Congress

In the strongly-worded letter, written in Hindi, Hazare charged the Government with suppressing those who raised their voice against corruption.

"Your Government is trying to crush those who raise their voice against corruption. This is happening more often in your Government," Hazare said in his letter.

Noting that he was not given permission to hold fast at the venues sought by him, without any proper reason assigned, Hazare questioned, "Whether all this does not give the impression of dictatorship?" "Does it behove of you to crush the fundamental rights of people by murdering democracy and violating the Constitution?

People say your government is the most corrupt government since independence, though I am of the view that every successive government is more corrupt than the previous one."

He also questioned the police permission given to the Civil Society group to hold Hazare's fast only for three days, adding that no reasons were cited for this.

Hazare accused the Government of finding excuses to deny permission to his proposed indefinite fast.

Citing such instances, he said, "Earlier we were not given permission for our fast at Jantar Mantar on the pretext that we would occupy the whole area and not leave any space for others to protest."

Team Anna rejects Delhi Police condition

Anna Hazare team on Saturday said it has been asked by Delhi Police to give an undertaking that it will end its protest fast at a park in central Delhi in two-and-half days; a condition which it said was not acceptable and "totally unconstitutional".

Anna Hazare team member Manish Sisodia said they have received a letter from Delhi Police giving permission for holding the protest at Jai Prakash Narain Park for two-and-a-half days.

"They have asked us to given an undertaking that we will end our fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park in that period. This is not acceptable to us," he said.

"We are discussing the matter. We may now sit at Jantar Mantar," he said.

Hazare was denied permission by Delhi Police to hold fast at the capital's protest hotspot Jantar Mantar and instead offered Jai Prakash Narain Park as the venue.

Lokpal bill drafting committee member Prashant Bhushan slammed the undertaking as totally unconstitutional.

"They (Delhi Police) are saying you first give an undertaking that you will move out in 2 or 3 days. Then we will give you permission. Requiring such an undertaking is absurd and totally unconstitutional. Therefore, there is no question of giving any such undertaking," Bhushan said.

The government on Friday denounced the agitation as "unjustified" with a message that it could intervene if Hazare's health fails.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said Hazare's "extra Parliamentary protest" at this stage "seems unjustified" but was evasive on the delay in grant of permission, contending that the matter rests with Delhi Police.

Hazare's earlier fast, when the Lokpal bill was not in place, was "perhaps right" but not now when a bill has already been introduced in Parliament and the government has "moved forward" on it, the Home Minister said.

At the same time, Chidambaram said, "Everybody has a right to protest and the context and circumstances will decide whether the protest was right or not."

Hazare's fast at Jantar Mantar in April had generated a nationwide agitation, forcing the government to set up a joint committee to draft Lokpal Bill.

Hazare's team launches website

To provide 'standard publicity material' for social activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement, the Lucknow team of India Against Corruption (IAC) has launched a website, an official said on Saturday.

He said www.iacbranding.org offers a host of designs and graphics for banners, hoardings, T-shirts and other items that could be used for extending support to Hazare's campaign.

'The website intends to offer graphics and designs for the branding and projection of the crusade,' Sunil Lal, in-charge of designing the publicity material, told reporters here.  The graphics and designs can be downloaded for use in campaigns supporting Hazare, added Lal, a Lucknow-based graphics designer. 

According to IAC activists, before the launch of the website, people from various states used to ask for designs and graphics which were sent to them through mails.  'In the wake of the growing demand for the publicity material from different parts of the country, like Pune, Chennai, Bangalore and other cities, we decided to launch the website,' said Lal.  The website is functional since Friday. People from various cities have started sharing their own publicity materials that could be used for the campaign, said Lal.

NRIs to join Anna's fast

A group of 25 non-resident Indians (NRIs) from the Middle East will join Anna Hazare's fast here from Aug 16 to demand the enactment of a strong Lokpal bill, a statement said on Saturday.

'We Indians abroad fully back Anna and his team in introducing a strong Lokpal bill. Everybody cannot join the fast, so a group of 25 will carry with us the goodwill, emotional support, and spirit of patriotism of all NRIs as we believe that only an effective Lokpal bill will lead India in the right direction,' KK Sarachandra Bose, an advocate who will lead the delegation of lawyers and activists, said in a statement.  Bose added that many civil and criminal laws in India are outdated.

'Certain British colonial laws such as the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860, Indian Evidence Act of 1872, Indian Contract Act of 1872, Indian Partnership Act of 1932, The Transfer of Property Act of 1882, Indian Court Fees Act of 1870 and Civil Procedure Code of 1908 are all outdated and good only to enslave and loot the innocent Indians,' he added.

 

(JPN/ Agencies)