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Permission Denied, Team Hazare Exploring Options

New Delhi, Aug 15: With police denying permission to Anna Hazare to hold his fast here, his associates today said the Gandhian will go to the protest venue tomorrow and court arrest even as they
PTI August 15, 2011 19:09 IST
PTI

New Delhi, Aug 15: With police denying permission to Anna Hazare to hold his fast here, his associates today said the Gandhian will go to the protest venue tomorrow and court arrest even as they were exploring “all options”, including moving court, to counter the police action.  

The Hazare team also alleged that Delhi Police was under directions to deny permission to Hazare to hold the protest and said authorities cannot limit one's fundamental rights.

Activists Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi said Hazare would go to the Jai Prakash Narain Park near Ferozeshah Kotla stadium and court arrest if he and his supporters were not allowed to enter the park.

Delhi Police denied permission to the Hazare team after the organisers refused to give an undertaking that the protest would end on the third day and they would restrict the number of agitators to 5,000.

“We will court arrest tomorrow. The conditions laid by the Delhi Police are unconstitutional. Unfortunately they are under directions,” Bedi said when asked about police denying permission to Hazare to hold his indefinite hunger strike at Jai Prakash Narain Park.

Kejriwal alleged that the denial of permission showed the “dictatorial and arbitrary attitude” of the government and that it was creating an Emergency-like situation of 1970s.

Asked whether they would approach court against the Delhi Police action, he said, “All options are open and there is an option to go to court.” Lawyer Prashant Bhushan yesterday said they may approach the Supreme Court if the permission is denied.

The Hazare team had also refused to give undertaking that only 50 each cars and motorcycles will be parked near the venue, no shamiana will be erected on the roads and loudspeakers will not be used after 9 PM.

“These conditions are unconstitutional. You cannot limit our fast. You cannot limit our fundamental rights. You can do that only if our protest turns violent. If it is not so, then you cannot interfere,” Bedi said.

By putting such conditions, she alleged, the authorities were compelling them to say ‘no' to such things. She also found fault with the condition about regulating the number of vehicles at the protest venue saying they were not traffic police to do so. “It is not our job. We are not traffic police. They should make alternative arrangements to handle traffic,” she said.

Bedi noted that they were not flouting any law and would court arrest tomorrow wherever police stops them. Kejriwal questioned the logic of the conditions set by the police. “All these conditions are unreasonable and unjustified,” he said.

“We are not allowed to erect shamianas. It is raining these days. How these tents will pose a security threat? Where will people take shelter from rain,” he said.

On the restriction on vehicles to be parked, he said, “Why allow only 50 vehicles to be parked. Why not 100? Why not 75? How have they arrived at this figure of 50? It is completely arbitrary.” 

Top government officials today reviewed the situation as a showdown between Anna Hazare team and Delhi Police appeared imminent after the Gandhian was denied permission to go ahead with his indefinite fast against corruption from tomorrow.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh held a meeting with Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta and other senior officials at the Police Headquarters here to take stock of the measures taken by the force to tackle any untoward situation.

The meeting came after Hazare and his team announced that they will go ahead with their proposed protest at Jai Prakash Narain Park even after being denied permission and will court arrest if they were prevented to do so.

Sources said police officials were planning very carefully the arrangements to handle tomorrow's protest by Hazare and his team so as to avoid the situation like the one at Ramlila Maidan in early June while evicting protesters led by yoga guru Ramdev. PTI