Saturday, August 27, 2011

'Police under no influence'

Anna Hazare to be released from Tihar soon

Deccan Chronicle

August 16, 2011,  Agencies, New Delhi 

This is a breaking news report
Sources have revealed that the Delhi police have forwarded the warrant of release for Anna Hazare and his associates from Tihar prison.

Hazare, 74, was detained early on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Team Anna members Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan were released earlier in the day.

"Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan have been released," Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told reporters. He said theirs was a 'preventive arrest.

Bedi and Bhushan were detained under the Delhi Police Act, on charges of refusing to comply with the directions given by a police officer.

Dismissing reports of Hazare sharing prison space with scam-hit Suresh Kalmadi, Neeraj Kumar, DG Tihar Prisons said the activist and his associates were lodged in the new admission ward, 'separated from other prisoners'. 

'Not prohibiting peaceful protest'
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said today that up to 1,000 people had been taken into custody in New Delhi as police acted to halt a hunger strike by Lokpal activist Anna Hazare "Two hundred to 1,000 people have been detained," Chidambaram told reporters, adding that 'we are not prohibiting a peaceful democratic protest'.

The minister added that Hazare's decision to defy prohibitory orders led police to believe that he could commit a cognizable offence.

According to the Home Ministry Hazare will be produced before a magistrate soon. Chidambaram also added that Team Anna is free to go to court to challenge the restrictions imposed by police. 

Sporadic protests
The activist was detained by Delhi Police on Tuesday morning as he was about to set out for his planned hunger strike in support of a strong Lokpal bill.

As news of Hazare's arrest spread, sporadic protests broke out across the capital, leading to the detention of more than 500 supporters, including former top cop Kiran Bedi and lawyer Shanti Bhushan.

The events unfolded after Hazare and Kejriwal left their flat in Supreme Enclave early on Tuesday for their protest at Jaiprakash Narayan Park. As they got out of the lift in the apartment complex, around 20 police officers in plain clothes encircled them and whisked them away in a police van.
The police even formed a human chain around the venue to prevent any untoward incident. 

'Arrest is illegal'
Prashant Bhushan, one of Hazare's team members, said: "Anna's arrest is illegal, unconstitutional... This government has no faith in democratic values. It has become dictatorial. This situation is like the Emergency period."

Ramon Magsaysay award winner Bedi, who was detained from Rajghat, said: "When Anna asked on what charges was he arrested, the police said they had just been given orders."
Bedi has also refused to give a personal bond and get herself released after she was taken into preventive detention for defying prohibitory orders.

"I have been asked to offer bail but I have refused. I may be sent into judicial custody in Tihar jail," Bedi told the press Trust of India. 

Meanwhile, rejecting outright that the Delhi Police was influenced by political pressure, Congress leader Ambika Soni said: "The police is not under any political influence. They are working independently.

"I am sure Anna's supporters will not resort to violence but who can ensure that two-three protestors will not resort to violence and property is vandalised or people are hurt? So we have to take police help."

Chidambaram, in his statement, also said that, 'if someone says, he would defy prohibitory orders, it is unacceptable in a democracy'.
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