Defying orders undemocratic, says govt after Anna arrest
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In a clear indication of a strategy change in tackling Anna Hazare's protest over the Lokpal Bill, the government today refrained from making any personal attack on the activist but justified his arrest saying defiance of police order was not acceptable in a democracy.
"This is not a pleasant task and none of us are happy trying to explain the circumstances under which certain events have taken place. It is a painful duty and we are performing it with the seriousness it deserves," Home Minister P
Chidambaram told reporters here.
At the same time, he strongly defended Hazare's arrest saying the action was taken by the Delhi Police after it came to a conclusion that he and his supporters would commit a "cognisable offence" by defying prohibitory orders.
Addressing the media along with HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and I&B Minister Ambika Soni, Chidambaram said the government did make an effort to reach out to him yesterday but the meeting did not materialise.
"Yesterday, there was an attempt to meet Hazare, but that was not possible. This morning, police officers met Hazare and drew his attention to his statements that he and his supporters would defy orders and asked him what his intentions were.
"Hazare said he was proceeding to Jai Prakash Narain Park to defy orders. At that time, the police came to the conclusion that he and his supporters would commit a cognisable offence and there could be likely breach of peace and they decided to take action under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC," he said.
The Union ministers, while disagreeing with Hazare's method for bringing the Lokpal Bill, made it clear they shared the activist's concern on corruption.
"We are on Anna's side and Anna is on our side (as far as the fight against corruption is concerned)," Sibal said, adding the disagreement was over Team Anna's insistence on accepting their Bill or no other Bill.
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