Social activist Anna Hazare’s indefinite hunger strike entered its fifth day on Sunday even as villagers blocked a state highway in support in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, PTI reported.
The police detained 110 protestors briefly in the afternoon, said Supa Police Station Inspector Rajendra Bhosale.
Farmers and youths blocked the Ahmednagar-Pune state highway at Supa village in Parner tehsil, around 38 km from Hazare’s village Ralegan Siddhi. The protest’s convener Shahir Gaikwad said they were extending support to Hazare’s demands for immediate appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states, implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission to address the agrarian crisis, and other electoral reforms.
Hazare has been on a hunger strike since January 30 to protest against the delay in appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and the passage of the Lokayukta Act in Maharashtra. Dr Dhananjay Pote, who conducted a health check-up of Hazare on Sunday morning, said the activist has lost around 3.8 kg and that his blood pressure, blood sugar and creatinine level in urine have risen.
Hazare warned on Saturday that if anything happened to him, people will hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible. “People will remember me as a person who tackled situations and not as somebody who added fuel to the fire,” he told ANI.
Hazare said political parties were against the Lokpal Act as it would empower authorities to investigate the Prime Minister and all other ministers with evidence against them. “This is the main reason they don’t want it and no party wants it,” Hazare said. “Lokpal [Act] was passed in the Parliament in 2013, but the government is yet to appoint it.”
Shiv Sena chief asks government to intervene
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Maharashtra government to intervene in Hazare’s hunger strike and urged it to not “play” with his life.
Supporters of Hazare had claimed the activist had received a “cold response” from the Prime Minister’s Office in response to a letter. Thackeray said the response from the Prime Minister’s Office was “condemnable and laughable”.
Thackeray said Hazare’s fight was against corruption, which was a problem across the country. He urged Hazare to take to the streets in this fight to create an awakening among people, instead of giving up his life by fasting.
“At present, people in the country have been given anaesthesia and the need is to bring them out of this situation,” Thackeray added.
State minister Girish Mahajan and senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil met Hazare on Sunday.