Lokpal Bill row: Civil society meets to discuss strategies for upcoming protest

Noida, Aug 2 (ANI): Civil society activists met in Uttar Pradesh's Noida area on Tuesday to discuss various strategies, which includes the probable venue for the upcoming protest against the draft Lokpal Bill proposed by the government.

Civil society members Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar met at the residence of drafting committee member Shanti Bhushan.

Social activist Medha Patkar said the team is determined to participate and support Anna Hazare's fast.

"No, we have decided not to move to the court. But this is sure that the fast will take place on the decided day. It is declared and it will happen. As far as the venue for the fast is concerned, the whole country is venue to demonstrate against corruption," Patkar said after the meeting.

"No, not yet," she added, while responding to a question on whether the civil society activists had decided the venue of the protest.

Reiterating his intention to go on indefinite fast against graft from August 16, Hazare earlier questioned the government's intentions on the Lokpal Bill and said he was ready to go to jail if he was not allowed to demand a strong anti-corruption law.

Delhi Police on July 29 denied Hazare permission to hold an indefinite hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on August 16.

The Delhi Police referred to the Supreme Court's 2009 order to deny team Anna permission for the indefinite strike anywhere in Delhi.

The police, in its letter to Hazare, said that as Parliament would be in session, no group could be allowed to capture the entire space at Jantar Mantar, as many groups come out on protests during that period.

The letter further states that if team Anna wished they could hold their strikes in Delhi"s outskirts, or give a definite time limit during which they would be allowed a sit-in protest.

The Union Cabinet on July 28 approved the official draft of the Lokpal Bill and trashed the key proposals moved by Team Anna. (ANI)