Saturday, December 2, 2023

Anna fast enters third day; regrets attack on media


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New Delhi: Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast entered the third day on Tuesday with the activist regretting the attack on media by his supporters and warned that he will call off his fast if they again indulge in violence.

Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who is also fasting, apologised for the misbehaviour with media but sought to blame media house owners, saying they have to decide whether they are with the country or with corrupt people. Before Hazare and his close aides took the dais, some supporters shouted slogans against the media.

A scuffle broke out between Team Anna supporters and mediapersons last night at Jantar Mantar, where Hazare is on an indefinite fast. Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan’s allegation that media was not projecting the protest in right light allegedly led to the brawl. The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) had condemned the incident and demanded an apology from Team Anna.

Regretting the attack on media, Hazare told his supporters this morning that he “felt sad” after hearing about the attack on media accusing them of not giving proper coverage to the indefinite fast on corruption issues.

“If you indulge in violence, remember that the government can crush us in two days. They have the strength and laws to do that. In future, if these things happen again, at that moment I will call off this agitation. I don’t approve of this. Let media do their work. Don’t bother about what they do,” he said.

He said if the media coverage is not the right way, they should not blame media but should introspect and see if there is any problem with the activists that such reports are coming. “It’s wrong to blame media. I regret that some people have misbehaved with the media,” he said.

Apologising to the media, Kejriwal said the protest should continue with calmness and non-violence.

“We cannot tolerate such behaviour,” he said. However, he said media house owners need to make their own choices whether they want to support government in their wrong deeds or want to join the mission of service of nations. Another Team Anna member Manish Sisodia said they were ashamed of what happened yesterday. “Our fight is not with the media,” he said.

Meanwhile, doctors advised hospitalisation of Kejriwal and Gopal Rai, who were fasting for the past seven days, as their health deteriorated. However, both the activists refused to do so. Doctors said the pulse rate of Kejriwal this noon was 67 while blood pressure was 102/63 and sugar level at 95. Rai’s pulse rate was 79, blood pressure 130/74 and sugar level 99.

Kejriwal said they were at the protest to sacrifice their lives not to go to hospital. “I am warning the government not to try to arrest us and force us to go to hospital. We are not cowards who will give up because of health problems,” he said. (PTI)

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