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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

JAN LOK PAL: Bangalore techies, college students take day off for Anna!


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ndtv.com / Press Trust of India, Updated: August 17, 2011 15:30 IST.

Bangalore:  Thousands of students in Bangalore skipped classes to gather in Freedom Park in support of Anna Hazare, who was arrested in Delhi on Tuesday.

Mr Hazare wants to hold an indefinite hunger strike and demonstration in Delhi to protest a new bill introduced by the government that hopes to curb corruption. Mr Hazare and other activists believe that the bill is weak and designed to offer cover to politicians accused of corruption.

The Anna supporters in Bangalore included former Supreme Court judge Santosh N Hegde who retired just a few days ago as the Lokayukta or ombudsman of Karnataka.

Mr Hegde was also a part of the drafting committee for the Lokpal Bill. He was nominated by Anna. The government paired five non-elected representatives with an equal amount of ministers. Both sides were unable to resolve severe differences and produced two different versions of the Lokpal Bill. The government ignored Mr Hazare's request to circulate the activists' bill in parliament. In response, Mr Hazare announced a hunger strike and asked Indians to join him in a mass movement.

"Anna is fighting for us. We are here to support him," several students said. Mr Hegde reiterated that the government made a mistake by arresting Hazare .

He opined that if the Government came out with "open heart and open soul (willingness to look into their version), we (the civil society members) are ready to discussions again".

Capt G R Gopinath, founder of low cost airline Air Deccan, said team Anna's fight is not against any political party; it's against the system.


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