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Police Relent; No Restriction On Crowd, Offers 7 Days Protest

PTI 17 Aug 2011, 19:39:40 IST

New Delhi, Aug 17: Bowing before public pressure after Anna Hazare's arrest, Delhi Police today withdrew virtually all pre-conditions for the hunger strike by the Gandhian and his team in the national capital. 

After the Hazare team indicated that they were ready to accept Ramlila Maidan as the venue for the protest, police reworked the conditions lifting restriction on the number of protesters and allowed them seven days agitation initially which could be extended later.

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Hazare, his team and police. Initially, police were insisting that they could allow only five days' protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month.

Police had earlier denied permission to Hazare to hold his indefinite fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park near Ferozeshah Kotla Ground after the 73-year-old Gandhian refused to give an undertaking that he would restrict his protest to three days and the number of protesters to 5,000. 

Sources said the new proposals include lifting of restriction of the number of vehicles that can be parked at the protest venue and allowing a medical examination of protesters by a government doctor as well as a private doctor chosen by Hazare team.

Earlier, police had said a team of government doctors would examine Hazare and others.

Sources said police can extend the number of days of protest beyond seven days. They said there was no restriction on the number of protesters and will allow protesters “to the capacity” at Ramlila Maidan.

Asked whether the offer was acceptable, Hazare's associate Kiran Bedi said “no, Anna is asking for 30 days' permission for the protest which includes fast period.” PTI