Indian police detain anti-graft activist
New Delhi, India (CNN) — Police in New Delhi detained a 72-year-old anti-corruption activist Tuesday ahead of his planned hunger strike in the city.
Anna Hazare was detained because he wanted to press ahead with his demonstration without official permission, police said.
Anti-corruption campaigners have rejected legislation prepared by the federal government to create a citizen ombudsman, saying the bill, now in parliament, was too weak to tackle endemic graft in the system.
Led by Hazare, they have been demanding a stronger institution that they say should be capable of tackling corruption Indians encounter in their daily lives.
Critics, on their part, have accused the campaigners of challenging the authority of elected legislature that has to debate and decide the proposed law.
In his remarks Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh disapproved of hunger strikes as a means to push demands.
Singh, whose government is roiled in massive corruption scandals, acknowledged in his national address to mark India’s Independence Day that no single measure could handle chronic corruption.
“I believe that there is no single big step which we can take to eradicate corruption. In fact, we will have to act simultaneously on many fronts,” Singh said.
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