Protests against corruption, memorandum given to Prez

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) A group of social activists andreligious leaders submitted a memorandum to President PratibhaPatil today demanding a strong anti-corruption law to dealwith the menace.

The memorandum was submitted at the end of a day-longprotests against graft at Ramlila Maidan. The protesters alsomarched in a procession to Jantar Mantar.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi,eminent advocate Ram Jethmalani and RTI activist ArvindKejriwal were among others who participated in the protests.

They demanded that government take effective steps to bringback money stashed by Indian nationals in banks abroad.

The memorandum, under the aegis of the Bharat SwabhimanTrust, was signed among others by activist Anna Hazare,Jethmalani and former BJP leader Govindacharya. It had 30 lakhsignatories, a Trust representative said.

Addressing the rally, Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, a former ITCommissioner, alleged that two Congress leaders had links withHasan Ali Khan, the Pune-based stud farm owner, who allegedlystashed away huge sums in foreign banks.

Baba Ramdev alleged that Indian nationals had around Rs400 lakh crore in black money, out of which Rs 300 lakh croreis stashed in banks abroad.

Swami Agnivesh asked why the government was allowing aparticular international bank in which alleged black money hasbeen deposited to open its branches in the country.

Hazare said a strong Lokpal Act would act as a deterrentto corruption.

Hazare yesterday had threatened to go on an indefinitefast from April 5 if the Prime Minister does not initiateaction by March end for coming out with a bill to give Lokpalmore teeth.

He demanded that the government immediately set up acommittee with at least half of its members being from thecivil society to formulate a plan to strengthen theinstitution of Lokpal.

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