Freedom fighters to start anti-corruption satyagraha

December 28, 2010 08:48 pm | Updated 08:48 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

File photo of the statue of Gyarah Murti, in New Delhi. Photo :Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

File photo of the statue of Gyarah Murti, in New Delhi. Photo :Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A group of Gandhian freedom fighters, most of them in their Eighties and Nineties, belonging to the Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade announced that they will undertake a satyagraha from January 1 at Jantar Mantar and a fast unto death from January 30 (Martyr’s Day) demanding that the government take firm steps to root out corruption in public life.

The seven Gandhians in a letter addressed to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought the passing of the Lok Pal Bill, confiscation of illegally acquired property and disqualification of candidates seeking election to Parliament and State legislatures against whom criminal cases pertaining to serious offences have been registered.

The seven Gandhians include six freedom fighters who took part in the Quit India Movement and later struggles -- Shambhu Dutta (92), R. Saradamani Devi (84), K.P. Sahu (79), Murari Lal Gupta (94), Govind Narain Seth (78) and Amarnath Khanna (89). They will be joined in the satyagraha by E. James Rajashekharan (51), a Gandhian and social activist from Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Dutta said he was demoralised by the current state of affairs in the country and would feel proud to call himself a “freedom fighter” again only if the scourge of corruption is removed from society. He said the freedom fighters would not call off the protest until the government announces a date to the nation by which their demands would be addressed.

Alluding to the spate of recent scams which he said has involved every arm of the government, Ashok Arora, general secretary of the Gandhian Satyagraha Brigade called upon the Supreme Court judges to seize the moment and utilise the powers vested in them to make an example of some of the accused in recent scams so that it acts as a deterrent for others and will serve as a strong precedent for dealing with corruption cases in future.

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