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Friday, August 19, 2011

OUT OF TIHAR JAIL: Lokpal is people’s fight - Anna Hazare!


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Gargi Parsai, The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 19, 2011.

Social activist Anna Hazare raises slogans after emerging from the gates of Tihar Jail, where he had been lodged since August 16, in New Delhi, on Friday.
Social activist Anna Hazare raises slogans after emerging from the gates of Tihar Jail, where he had been lodged since August 16, in New Delhi, on Friday - AP.

Unprecedented crowds greeted anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare as he came out of Tihar jail late on Friday morning. After spending three days in jail, Mr Hazare was firm on taking forward his agitation in favour of a strong Lokpal Bill to the Ramlila grounds.
Visibly moved by the presence of thousands of people who received him, the 74-year-old social activist declared the fight for a strong Lokpal to be the people’s fight.
“Whether I am there or not, don’t allow this flame to be extinguished. Till India is free from corruption, this flame should burn,” he said, raising his voice above the roar of the crowd. The activist had begun his fast in jail on August 16.
Sixty-four years after Independence, we have still not achieved freedom, he said, declaring that the “fight has just begun”.
The steady rain did not dampen the spirit of the people who thronged the gates of Tihar and lined the entire route from the prison to Lal Batti Chowk and Mayapuri in west Delhi. Mr. Hazare and some members of his team travelled in an open vehicle from Tihar to Mayapuri from where he proceeded in a private car to Rajghat. “I will speak at length at Ramlila Ground,” he said.
The activist thanked the people who had extended support while he was in Jail and appealed for peace. “Let there be order and let there be no damage to public property,” he repeated again and again.
At the Ramlila Grounds, a member of Team Anna, Kiran Bedi, held the crowds waiting for the arrival of Mr Hazare. Preparations were still on at the grounds that can hold about 50,000 people. Several trucks of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi were pressed into service to clear the ground and level it in preparation for the protest fast.

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