New Delhi: Clarifying its stand over the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare early Tuesday morning, Delhi police said that it had given him the permission to only stage a protest and not a fast-unto-death.
Addressing a press conference, Delhi police Commissioner BK Gupta said, “When Anna Hazare’s organisation, ‘India Against Corruption’ came to us for permission to protest, we were ready to give them any place near Burari. But they requested for a place in Central Delhi.”
He further added, “We suggested them JP Park to hold protest. We generally don’t allow JP Park for protests but allowed ‘India Against Corruption’ as a special case. We asked them to give undertaking which is a normal procedure.”
Gupta added, “We were expecting a gathering of about 15000 to 20000 people. Such a huge gathering would have created a lot of law & order situation. That is a crowded place so we put a cap of 5000 people and said that if you want more people then go to some other place in Delhi.”
The Commissioner further said, “When they refused to sign the undertaking, we cancelled the permission.”
On being asked the necessity of arresting Anna Hazare, Gupta said, “He was calling on people claiming that he will defy article 144 at JP Park. That is why we took him in preventive custody.”
He also informed that Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan were arrested under Section 165 DP Act. About 1400 to 1500 civilians have also been detained in the city.
On the functioning of the police, Gupta seemed pretty happy with his team’s performance and said, “Police were given specific orders not use any force. There was no incident of violence and the day was peaceful.”
He also informed the media that, “No civilian has been arrested. They are detained under 165 in which they will be left in a few hours.”