New Delhi: Anna Hazare and his team were in discussions with the government and police on Wednesday over the venue of his fast after he comes out of Tihar.
After meeting Mr. Hazare, lawyer Prashant Bhushan told the crowd of supporters outside the jail that the Gandhian would come out of jail only if he is allowed to fast without conditions.
Mr. Bhushan said government and police were discussing with Mr. Hazare and his aides options of fast venue — J.P. Park or Ramlila Maidan — where he could launch his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill.
He said if conditions are imposed, then Mr. Hazare will continue with his fast inside the jail.
He also told the crowd that people of Delhi have been asked to come to India Gate for a march to Jantar Mantar in support of Jan Lokpal and fight against corruption.
Mr. Hazare had earlier sought permission from Tihar Jail authorities for a meeting with some of his top associates to plan his strategy.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar, Manish Sisodia and Swami Agnivesh. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Chand was also present at the meeting.
Mr. Hazare also met Sri Sri Ravishankar and yoga guru Baba Ramdev in the prison.
Mr. Hazare, who was ordered to be released on Tuesday night after a day-long detention before he was to begin his fast demanding a strong Lokpal, had refused to come out of the prison unless he was allowed to protest from J.P. Park without conditions.
Earlier, Ms. Bedi and Swami Agnivesh announced to the hundreds of supporters waiting since last night that the 74-year-old Gandhian was about to come out of the prison anytime now.
“The government has bowed down. We will have to be prepared to go to J.P. Park in a peaceful manner,” Swami Agnivesh said.
Solidarity with Anna
Ms. Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Ms. Patkar joined hundreds of protestors on Wednesday expressing solidarity with Mr. Hazare outside Tihar while a large number of the Gandhian’s supporters took out marches across the city.
Mr. Hazare’s supporters in huge numbers also gathered outside Chhatrasal Stadium, which was converted into a special detention area on Wednesday morning and shouted anti-corruption slogans demanding that the Gandhian be allowed to protest at J.P. Park.
Ms. Bedi, who was detained on Tuesday and released later, and Swami Agnivesh arrived outside Tihar at around 11.30 a.m. where a swarm of protestors had gathered since Tuesday night to express solidarity with Mr. Hazare.
Ms. Patkar, who reached the protest spot early in the day, was granted permission to meet Mr. Hazare after being initially refused to enter the premises.
Ms. Patkar approached jail authorities seeking permission to meet Mr. Hazare, who was lodged in the administrative block after he refused to be released, but was initially denied. However, later the authorities changed their stand and allowed her.
After the permission was denied, Ms. Patkar claimed that jail authorities told her that Mr. Hazare was not in their custody and could not allow her to meet him. “It was a right to meet a man in jail. They told me that he is not in their custody and he is not a jail bird. Nobody could be given permission. This is a conspiracy of the government. They are not tolerating any basic rights,” she said addressing the protestors gathered outside Tihar Jail.
At Chhatrasal Stadium, scores of people holding tricolour marched on the tracks while others lent support to them from outside.