With the original anti-graft crusader, Anna Hazare announcing a one-day fast protesting the atrocity meted out to Baba Ramdev and company on Jun 8, he has further decided to skip the Lokpal meeting on Monday as well.
Five other civil society members of the bill drafting committee have also decided to boycott. Hazare has been quoted as saying against the Government's treatment to Baba's anti-corruption campaign, “What the Government has done is a blot on democracy. There was no need for the Government to suppress this movement and attack those protesting at midnight. It was not right to lathicharge the people at midnight Small children and women were brutally assaulted. The entire country should stand up as one and protest against this brutal and inhuman action."
Santosh Hegde, a member of the drafting panel and Karnataka's head of Lokayukta also expressed his dissent at the midnight crackdown and said, “This is a serious violation of the Fundamental Rights. We need to think about whether to go back to Government to negotiate about Lokpal Bill. Even if the Govrnment had a deal with Baba Ramdev earlier, there was no need for this midnight action. This is clearly inhuman to lathicharge and teargas when people were sleeping. I have not felt this disappointed since Emergency. If he was really a cheat, then why go to the airport to receive him with four ministers."
Another key member of the panel, Prashant Bhushan also voiced strong reactions and said, “It shows complete intolerance on the part of the Government for a peaceful satyagrah. It makes a mockery of democracy. At one level senior Cabinet ministers roll out the red carpet for him and on another Digvijaya Singh calls him a fraud. Why was the Government negotiating with him if they thought he was a crook? Ramdev had our support for most of his demands except for the death penalty (for the corrupt)."
Arvind Kejriwal, civil society member and RTI activist who stood along with Hazare from the early days was also vocal in his protests and said, “This is a violation of the Fundamental Rights. We want an explanation from the Prime Minister on what was the provocation which led him to order such a barbaric action. We will discuss with Anna on the future course of the agitation."
With the UPAs insensitive attitude towards the Ramdev fast, various crusaders against corruption now have more power to fire their tirades against the corruption rampant in the government.