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Anna Fasts In Custody, Continues '2Nd Freedom Struggle'

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Hours before he was to launch his fast against corruption, Anna Hazare was today detained by Delhi Police here preventing him from going ahead with his protest. Two other prominent activists Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish

Sisodia were also taken into preventive custody, Delhi

Police said. Bedi was held at Rajghat. Reports say Shanti Bhushan too has been taken into preventive custody.

Anna called his detention as the beginning of the "second freedom struggle" and asked people to participate in a "jail bharo" agitation. Read full story | Watch video

The 73-year-old Gandhian was taken into custody from Supreme Enclave in Mayur Vihar, Phase-I before he was to proceed to the venue of his fast in J P Park where prohibitory orders are in place.

According to sources, senior police officials, including DCP (Crime) Ashok Chand, met with Hazare this morning at his apartment where he was staying in a bid to convince him to not go ahead with his planned protest defying prohibitory orders at JP Park.

However, Hazare turned down the request and told police that he will "defy orders" following which he was detained.

"We have detained him as he did not budge from his position of defying prohibitory orders," police official said.

Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi were also detained. Bedi was detained from Raj Ghat.

Flaying the police move, Bedi said, "Emergency has revisited the country."

"This detention is undemocratic and unconstitutional," she said.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped from MG Marg, Raj Ghat to Guru Nanak Chowk.

Around 500 supporters were with Anna at the time of his detention.

Civil Society core team member Prashant Bhushan denounced government's move calling it undemocratic and said that he would approach court today.

Chanting 'Bharat Mata ki jai' and 'Vande Matram,' supporters created hurdles in the way of the police which were trying to take him to a nearby police station.

Ahead of the proposed fast by the Gandhian, a group of people had thronged the east Delhi apartment where Hazare was staying to pledge their support to his protest.

Security personnel, including some in plain clothes and some from the special branch, were deployed around the apartment premise.

Around 500 police personnel have been deployed from early morning itself after the city police imposed Section 144 around the park, police sources said.

Hazare had on Monday asked his supporters to fill up jails across the country if he was arrested after being denied permission to hold fast here.

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh slammed him for resorting to fast as a protest when Parliament was seized of the lokpal bill, the Gandhian had said he will go to JP park despite Delhi police imposing prohibitory orders.

"I come to understand that I will be refused permission. We will go there. If I am arrested, I will continue my hunger strike in jail. If I am released, I will go back to the venue and this circle will continue," he had said.

He said once he is arrested, people should fill up the jails in every village across the country. "Going to jail for the country is no crime...It is a decoration," he said.

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat had said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in some areas of Daryaganj and IP police stations, which include Jai Prakash Narain Park and Shaheed Park.

Hazare had also accused the Prime Minister of "speaking" the language of his ministerial colleague Kapil Sibal, saying the lokpal bill was before Parliament which will take the call.


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