New Delhi: Seeking to mount pressure on the
government, civil rights activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday observed a
day-long fast at Rajghat and threatened another hunger strike
from August 16 if Lokpal Bill is not passed by then, saying it
was part of the "second freedom struggle".
The agitation saw Hazare and his associates attacking the
government for putting "hurdles" in the drafting of a strong
Lokpal Bill that will have under its purview the Prime
Minister, higher judiciary and MPs` activities in Parliament.
Hazare slammed the government, alleging that it was
trying to target the civil society members of the joint Lokpal
panel, such as Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Santosh Hegde
and Arvind Kejriwal through a "discreet" campaign.
Joined by a few thousand supporters, Hazare staged the
protest against the police crackdown on Ramdev`s congregation
here on Saturday night. The Hazare camp made it clear that the
protest was "not for Ramdev as such" but the cause of black
money, Lokpal and "assault on democratic rights".
Terming the police action at Ramlila as a "blot on
humanity" and attempt to "stifle democracy", Hazare and his
associates accused the government of trying to "steamroll" any
dissent "only because they have been elected for five years".
"We are yet to achieve real independence. The second
struggle of independence has started," Hazare said adding, he
will launch an indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar here from
August 16 if the Lokpal Bill is not passed by then.
Hazare`s fast in April had evoked nationwide support
forcing the government to form a joint panel of civil society
members and ministers to draft the bill.