Following a Delhi Police letter asking social activist Arvind Kejriwal to end his fast — which entered its eighth day on Wednesday — and amid rumours that the police would take him to hospital late on Wednesday night after the crowds dispersed, a defiant Mr. Kejriwal took the stage twice during the day to demonstrate that he was not “sinking.”
While asking the police not to forcibly remove Mr. Kejriwal, Team Anna members alleged there was a “conspiracy” between the government doctors — who did not give a clean bill of health to Mr. Kejriwal — and the police. Some of the core committee members also asked the protesters to “resist non-violently” any attempt by the police to take away Mr. Kejriwal.
Concerns about Mr. Kejriwal’s health dominated the proceedings for much of the day at Jantar Mantar, forcing him and fellow activists Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai to address their supporters in the evening. They said they would continue their fast in the hospital and resist attempts to force feed them.
Mr. Kejriwal called on people to protest peacefully outside the residences of Members of Parliament.
The letter said a team of doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital had advised that the three activists needed immediate medical intervention at a hospital. In direct contrast to this, Team Anna doctors said the trio did not require hospitalisation.
Allopathic and naturopathic doctors attending on the three men said their vital parameters including blood pressure, sugar level and pulse rate were in the normal range, while the ketone levels of Mr. Sisodhia and Mr. Rai were above normal. All three have lost weight. Mr. Kejriwal had bouts of vomiting.
The police complained that their continued fasting, resistance to medical intervention and threatening dire consequences if they were taken to hospital by force, was not “as per the terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon” and warned that this “may lead to adverse law and order situations.”
The letter said the organisers had agreed to comply with the police’s directions at any stage of the agitation. The organiser of the protest, Neeraj Kumar, was asked to take steps to immediately hospitalise the three fasting men, failing which he would be held “squarely responsible” for any untoward incident.
Police detained India Against Corruption supporters near the Prime Minister’s residence when they tried to stage a protest on Wednesday. Police also foiled a protest planned outside the BJP national headquarters. The protesters were later released.