Describing his detention by police as the beginning of the “second freedom struggle”, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Tuesday asked people to participate in a “jail bharo” agitation.
“My dear countrymen, second freedom struggle has begun and now I have also been arrested. But will this movement be stopped by my arrest. No not at all. Don’t let it happen,” Mr. Hazare said soon after being detained by police.
The 74-year-old Gandhian, who was scheduled to hold a fast against corruption in JP Park here today, asked people to court arrest and go to jails as part of the country-wide agitation against corruption and to demand a strong Lokpal.
“Time has come my countrymen when there should be no place left in jails in India to accommodate any more persons,” he said while asking people to maintain peace.
“I once again request my fellow countrymen that peace should be maintained and there must be no violence...Crores of people have joined this movement and second line of leaders are standing to lead this movement,” he said.
Besides Mr. Hazare, two other prominent activists Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were taken into preventing custody this morning.
Mr. Hazare said leaders like Kejriwal, Bedi, Prashant Bhusan, Manish Sisodia, Arvind Gaud, PV Rajgopal, Shanti Bhusan and Akhil Gogoi will lead the agitation.
“There are many who will continue to lead you and this fight will go on,” he said.
The Gandhian was taken into custody from a residential area in Mayur Vihar before he was to proceed to the venue of his fast where prohibitory orders are in place.
Meanwhile, Kiran Bedi said “somebody else” is behind the police action as the force is capable enough to handle such peaceful protests.
“This has not been done by Delhi Police, somebody else is behind it. Delhi Police is capable enough to handle such peaceful protests,” she said.
“When Anna asked the police about his crime, police said they were following orders,” Ms. Bedi added.
On detention of Mr. Hazare, she said there is not much difference between detention and arrest.
“What is the difference between detention and arrest? There’s no difference. When you are detained that means you are temporarily arrested and when your freedom is curbed, that is arrest,” she said.