About 70 activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) demonstrated peacefully at the historic Shaniwarwada yesterday evening to protest against the Delhi police lathi-charge on IAC workers agitating near the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the alleged coal scam. Demonstrations were also held before the house of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari. In the city, the IAC agitators criticised the police for detaining Arvind Kejriwal, resorting to lathi-charge, using tear gas and spraying the agitators with water cannons.
‘Is Sarkarki Dhikkar Ho’ (we condemn the government) was the slogan raised by the IAC agitators at Shaniwarwada. Deeak Bharadia, IAC convener, Pune, described the actions of the UPA government undemocratic. “This appears to be another Emergency after 1975 by the Congress-led government in Delhi,” Bharadia said. “The demonstrations by the IAC in Delhi were peaceful and PM Dr Manmohan Singh could have talked to the agitators instead of using police force. We will not be surprise if a real state of emergency is clamped by the UPA government to sidetrack the corruption charges against many of its ministers.”
Referring to the August 11 violence in Azad Maidan in Mumbai, Bharadia said: “If the police can give permission for a rally to a minority community organization that had resorted to a violent demonstration and even attacked the police and misbehaved with lady constables, then why not us? The government defends those who attacked women police during the demonstrations and also beat up policemen.” The IAC agitation in the city was supported by the Bharat Swabhiman Trust run by yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Vijay Warudkar, treasurer of the trust, said: “We are with the IAC and they are fighting for the good cause of condemning the corrupt ministers involved in different scams.”
Anna supports IAC
Activist Anna Hazare, who is in Ralegansiddhi, extended his support to the stir at the PM’s house and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence. Condemning the police action, he said: “Every political party is involved in coal corruption, including the opposition in Parliament. This is a time when the common Indian should cast his vote for a person who has a clean character rather than for anyone who has the backing of a political party.”