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Updated: August 17, 2011 15:50 IST

Hundreds gather outside Tihar jail as Anna refuses to leave

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Supporters of Anna Hazare during a candlelight vigil outside Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
Supporters of Anna Hazare during a candlelight vigil outside Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Despite being offered release, Anna Hazare spent the night in Tihar Jail refusing to come out insisting on an unconditional release and permission to launch his fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park.

The Gandhian’s aide Manoj Sisodia came out of the jail last night and said Mr. Hazare told the authorities that he will come out of the prison only after a written unconditional permission is given to continue his fast at J.P. Park, where he was to launch his hunger strike on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, sources said, Mr. Hazare got up at around 5.00 a.m. and was involved in a discussion with Mr. Kejriwal and his other associates who are in prison along with him.

Mr. Sisodia on Wednesday said, “We don’t have any information on when he will come out.”

Outside the jail premises, hundreds of people stayed through the night and expressed solidarity with Mr. Hazare and his campaign against corruption.

R.K. Saxena, a school teacher, said: “I am here to support this great cause. Government must accept Anna’s demand for the welfare of the country.”

Shouting anti-corruption slogans and holding the national tricolour, people from all walks of life started coming in large numbers from early hours of the day and joined others who were standing outside the jail premises through the night.

Ashwaq, a 38-year-old businessman, said: “I am fasting with Anna and other supporters since yesterday. I will continue my fast till Anna is freed from the jail and all his demands are accepted by the government.”

Morning walkers also joined the supporters demanding that the government release Mr. Hazare and his supporters.

Rakesh, a student, said “I am fasting with Anna for the bill and to uproot corruption from the country“.

“It is inhuman to punish Anna and others like this. He is fighting for the people and for the country. Government must pass Jan Lokpal bill,” Rekha Lalwani, a student of Delhi University, said.

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