The Government has denied permission to Anna Hazare and his followers to hold a fast and demonstration in Jantar Mantar tomorrow.
The permission was denied on the basis of the Section 144 — which is imposed in case of threat to public order or the country’s sovereignty or integrity.
The Anna Hazare group is currently holding a meeting in Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi to decide on how to deal with the development. It had earlier said that it will go on with the fast if the Government did not reply to its notice of fast.
“Anna Hazare is a peaceful man.. When has he ever incited violence,” said Arvind Kejriwal, one of the civil society leaders.
“The government’s attitude is that ‘we have a right to indulge in corruption. If you protest, we will crush you, or we will impose section 144,'” Kejriwal said.
He also pointed out that Kapil Sibal, the government’s chief interlocutor, is trying to wriggle the government out of its obligation to consult with civil society leaders in the creation of the Lokpal bill. He said that Sibal was getting agitated about imaginary slights and statements that he is ascribing to the Civil Society leaders.
“Nowhere in our letter to the government have we threatened not to come to the meetings.. He is putting words into our mouth,” Kejriwal said.
Earlier, Civil Society leader Shanti Bhushan had challenged the imposition of section 144 in Central Delhi.
Bhushan said “it is surprising that the Delhi police has changed its position within 10 days of filing this affidavit in the High Court. The reimposition of Section 144 again in Central Delhi in the absence of any such emergent situation which imminently threatens breach of peace is a clear violation of Citizen’s rights under Article 19.”
“We are therefore informing you and cautioning you that this reimposition of a a notification under section 144 is totally illegal and a violation of the Article 19. We are putting you on notice that we intend to go ahead with the fast on teh 8th which will be totally peaceful and any attempt to prevent the people from reaching Jantar Mantar would be viewed as a serious violation of fundamental democratic rights of the people,” he had said.
Bhushan also undertook that the fast will be totally peaceful and will not pose any threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country or to public order. “Reasonable restrictions can be imposed under Article 19(3) only iin the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India or in the interest of public order,” Bhushan quoted from the Criminal Procedure Code.
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