I am ready to face bullets for Lokpal Bill, Hazare says


Staff member
New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare Thursday dared the government to fire bullets at him saying he was not afraid of death.

"Anna is not afraid of death. They can fire bullets and not just use lathis [batons] to repress our agitation and the people of this country will decide whether India has a democratic rule or a dictatorship," Hazare said.

Hazare was reacting to the ruling Congress party general secretary Digvijay Singh's controversial remark on Wednesday that Hazare would get treatment similar given to yoga guru Baba Ramdev if he went ahead with his threat to go on an indefinite hunger strike.

Police had used force to disperse about 65,000 followers of Ramdev who were camping in New Delhi's Ramlila Ground demanding action on black money stashed away in foreign banks. Ramdev was taken into custody and sent out of Delhi in a mid-night swoop.

Singh, however, denied having made any such remark and said he was misquoted.

Second round of strike

"I am surprised and pained at reports in today's newspapers which quoted me as saying that the treatment given to Ramdev would also be meted out to Anna Hazare," Singh clarified adding that dealing with protesters was duty of local authorities and the Congress party does not interfere in such matters.

Hazare has announced his decision to undertake round two of his indefinite hunger strike from August 16 after the joint drafting committee which was set up on April following his hunger strike that lasted for 90 hours failed to draft the Lokpal Bill unanimously.

Drafting committee

Hazare was among five civil society representatives in the drafting committee, which concluded its meeting on Tuesday with severe differences prevailing between the civil society representatives and the five government ministers in the panel, particularly over the jurisdiction of the proposed Lokpal.

Government will go ahead with its own version and put the draft legislation suggested by Team Anna as appendix. It will be discussed at an all-party meeting government has conveyed in the first week of July before taking it to the cabinet for approval before introducing it before Parliament for ratification.

Team Anna which had already termed the government version of the Lokpal bill as Jokepal bill yesterday raised further questions about government's intension in fighting corruption by saying that the government version of the proposed anti-corruption legislation was not aimed at fighting corruption but for targeting those who complain against the malice.