The standoff in Tihar Jail is likely to be over with social activist Anna Hazare set to come out of the prison after a night-long protest demanding that he be allowed to launch his indefinite strike from a venue of his choice in the capital.
Seeks meeting with top associates
Anna Hazare has sought permission from Tihar Jail authorities for a meeting with some of his top associates to plan his strategy.
Jail sources said he has sought permission for holding a meeting with associates like Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan before his likely decision to come out.
The associates had earlier said that Mr. Hazare was likely to come out of the jail anytime and may go to JP Park, his preferred venue for the indefinite fast in support of his campaign for a strong Lokpal.
Inside the jail, another associate Arvind Kejriwal is with Hazare and has refused to come out
Mr. Hazare, who was ordered to be released on Tuesday night after a day-long detention before he was to begin his fast demanding strong Lokpal, had refused to come out of the prison unless he was allowed to protest from JP Park without conditions.
Activists Kiran 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 JP Park in a peaceful manner,” Swami Agnivesh said.
Solidarity with Anna
Activists Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar on Wednesday joined hundreds of protestors expressing solidarity with Anna Hazare outside Tihar Jail 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, Wednesday morning and shouted anti-corruption slogans demanding that the Gandhian be allowed to protest at J.P. Park in New Delhi.
Ms. Bedi, who was detained on Tuesday and released later, and Mr. Agnivesh arrived outside Tihar Jail 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. Hindu