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zeenews.india.com / Last Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 13:00.
New Delhi: Under intense pressure from Opposition parties, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday made a statement in Parliament over the arrest of social crusader Anna Hazare and hundreds of his supporters by Delhi Police yesterday.
Addressing the MPs in Lok Sabha, Prime Minister said that it was his painful duty to report on Hazare's arrest and added that every citizen had the right to hold a peaceful protest but there was a way to do it.
“I regret the arrest of Anna Hazare and his supporters by Delhi Police yesterday. Sri Hazare and six of his associates were arrested as a preventive measure to ensure that law and order is maintained.”
Defending Delhi Police for its action against Anna Hazare and his supporters, Prime Minister said, “Sri Hazare’s arrest was important to maintain law and order situation as he and his associates failed to give an undertaking that they will abide by the conditions put forth by the Delhi Police ahead of going on their fast for a Jan Lokpal Bill starting August 16.”
"Anna Hazare-ji insisted that their version of Lokpal Bill be passed. Delhi government was forced to impose the restrictions to maintain law and order situation," he said
“The steps taken by police were imperative as the government had a bound duty to maintain peace. Even after his release, Anna Hazare has refused to walk free and continues to stay inside Tihar Jail to press for the Jan Lokpal Bill through undemocratic means,” Singh said.
The Prime Minister, however, admitted that his government did not want any confrontations with Anna Hazare, and said, “Team Anna must allow the elected representatives of the people in Parliament to do their job.”
Coming down heavily on Hazare, the Prime Minister stated that he wants to impose his Jan Lokpal Bill on Parliament, adding, “Path chosen by Hazare to impose his bill is totally misconceived."
Dismissing allegations that the UPA government is trying to scuttle the fundamental rights of people to protest peacefully, Singh said, “Government acknowledges right of citizens to hold peaceful protests, but all forms of protest should be subject to conditions that it will not affect the law and order situation in the country. “
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