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Special Correspondent, The Hindu / CHENNAI, August 18, 2011.
Say registering one's protest in a peaceful manner is the democratic right of all citizens.
Scholars and academicians from across the country on Wednesday criticised the arrest of peaceful protesters raising their voice against corruption. Arguing that registering one's protest in a peaceful manner was a democratic right of all citizens, they demanded that all peaceful protesters be immediately released.
“The government, rather than upholding Constitutional provisions, has violated them, and also attacked the spirit of the independence movement,” they said.
Following is the text of their statement:
“Starting August 16, 2011 morning, the police has arrested peaceful protesters trying to raise their voice against endemic corruption in the country.
“To register peaceful protest is a democratic right of all citizens of this country. Further, it is in keeping with the spirit of non-violent protest during the national movement and such forms of protest must remain a clear option for registering dissent in our peace-loving democracy.
“Thus, the government, rather than upholding constitutional provisions has violated them and also attacked the spirit of the independence movement.
“Peaceful protesters raising their voice against corruption are serving an important social and national purpose. Any government of the day ought to see the protest as supporting its own efforts at rooting out corruption but rather than encouraging it they see it as against themselves. This is a very short sighted view of what the people are protesting about.
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