Nosy US ‘advises’ India on Anna Hazare

Days before the proposed fast against corruption by social activist Anna Hazare August 16, the US said it hoped that India would exercise democratic restraint in dealing with peaceful protests.

Washington: Days before the proposed fast against corruption by social activist Anna Hazare August 16, the US said it hoped that India would exercise democratic restraint in dealing with peaceful protests.

"As you know, we support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters here on Thursday.

"That said, India is a democracy, and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest," Nuland said when asked a question about the demonstration against corruption on August 16.
Team Anna Hazare on Thursday had declared they will go ahead with an indefinite fast in New Delhi Aug 16 for a stronger Lokpal (ombudsman) bill and called for tightening the anti-corruption legislation.

Meanwhile, India on Friday reacted sharply to
the US State Department`s remarks on Anna Hazare, who plans to
launch hunger strike against corruption next week, saying the
utterances are "needless".

"We have seen the needless comments by the US State
Department Spokesperson on handling of peaceful protests in
India. Freedoms of speech and expression, as well as, of
peaceful assembly, are enshrined in the Constitution of India
and exercised by citizens of this country of 1.2 billion
people," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External
Affairs said here.

Ahead of Hazare`s proposed August 16 fast, State
Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in Washington
that "as you know, we support the right of peaceful,
non-violent protest around the world. That said, India is a
democracy and we count on India to exercise appropriate
democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful
protest".

She was asked about the "demonstration going on in India
and police brutality against the people who are having
peaceful demonstrations against corruption" with a special
emphasis on protest against corruption to be held on August
16, led by activist Anna Hazare.

With IANS and PTI Inputs

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