New Delhi: Anna Hazare’s key aide Prashant Bhushan addressed the media on Tuesday following the arrest of the social activist, saying that the government has taken a undemocratic step by arresting those who dared to speak against corruption.
Bhushan revealed that Hazare has indeed begun his fast-unto-death from 10:00 AM today despite being under police.
“Around 7:30 AM, Anna Hazare was arrested from his residence in Mayur Vihar without any reason. Not just him but his supporters were also arrested under Section 144 CrPC. There was no Section 144 invoked in Mayur Vihar. They are curbing the rights of democracy. The Supreme Court has time and again said that one can impose a few restrictions but nothing more. We have always maintained that we will protest peacefully and hence these arrests were undemocratic,” Bhushan said.
In the meanwhile, Anna Hazare was formally arrested and relocated to Chhatrasal Stadium.
Bhushan also drew parallels between today’s arrest and the times of emergency in 1975 under the then Congress government saying, “This is just like the times of emergency when no one was allowed to speak against the government. This government is also behaving like the British government of the pre-independence era. If we have to save democracy, we have to stand against the government’s attitude.”
Not giving up in face of an adamant government, Bhushan pushed for a mass movement adding, “We appeal to the nation to come out on the streets and join us in a peaceful demonstration. We ask all to assemble at the Chattrasal Stadium, Delhi University at 12:30 PM today and hold a peaceful demonstration there. Delhiites who cannot come there may join us at 4:30 PM at the Pragati Maidan Metro Station and join in a walk to the JP Park- sit wherever stopped.”
“We will march from India Gate to the Parliament from 4:00 PM tomorrow and we ask the government servants to join our cause and take a mass leave for a day and join the protests in their city. When the nation stands up, the government will have to bow down.”
Taking a dig at the government’s version of the Lokpal Bill, he said that it was a bill to promote corruption where the accused party had ample provisions to destroy the evidence while the whistleblower and NGOs would be targeted and punished for raising their voices.
Bhushan also asked the supporters of Anna Hazare to wear a black armband to show their support adding that the government could not take any disciplinary action against such demonstrations.