Anna Hazare concludes Sunday fast in New Delhi


Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday broke his one-day token fast demanding an all-powerful anti-graft legislation and a strong legal protection for whistle-blowers.

The 74-year-old activist asked the people to 'keep up the pressure' on the government for passing the Jan Lokpal bill, a strong anti-graft legislation proposed by his team.

"The government's intention is not to pass the Jan Lokpal bill... But one day they will have to do it because the public has woken up," Hazare thundered before he broke the fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

"I have had six cabinet ministers dismissed. I have more ministers in that queue. I am not afraid of dying. I am here to serve the people of my country. Now, people have arisen, awoken," he added.

According to police estimates, some 2,000 supporters were at the venue for the anti-corruption mass protest also attended by his team members Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, Santosh Hegde, Shanti Bhushan and others.

Accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of not being serious about the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare said 'it must go' if it does not get a strong anti-corruption law in place.

He also warned of a national agitation if cases were not filed against ministers involved in corruption.

Addressing the gathering at the Jantar Mantar here during his day-long fast to demand a stronger Lokpal bill, the 72-year-old activist challenged the central government: "Bring Lokpal Bill by 2014 or go."

"India has been a republic - rule of the people - since January 26, 1950. We celebrate it everywhere, for the past 63 years. And where is the power, it's in Delhi, Mumbai. I tell people that till they have the power, India can't be a republic," said Hazare.

He said the government's intentions are not clear, that is why they are not serious about the Lokpal bill.

Hazare also asked government to register FIR against all ministers involved in corruption else he will launch another national agitation at Ramlila Ground.

Sunday's stir began with a short film screening on the whistle-blowers who have been killed during their fight against corruption.

Family members of slain whistle-blowers, including family of Indian Police Service officer Narendra Kumar, who was killed in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, visited Jantar Mantar to meet Hazare. Kumar was killed while intercepting a tractor-trolley carrying illegally-mined stones.

Calling for a bigger movement, Hazare said Team Anna will travel across the country and tell people that the government's version of the bill is 'useless'.

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said that at least 14 tainted union ministers would have been in jail had Jan Lokpal bill been passed.

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