The standoff in Tihar Jail likely to be over with 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.
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 Tuesday night that the 73-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,” Agnivesh said.
However, lawyer Prashant Bhushan told reporters outside that “we have no information or confirmation yet whether the government has conceded to the demands of Hazare that he will be allowed to sit on fast in JP Park without any conditions on the number of days”.
Over the last few days, Team Hazare had refused to give a written undertaking that he will end his protest within three days and restrict the number of protesters to 5,000.
Hazare and seven of his aides were picked up from an east Delhi apartment on Tuesday morning hours before he was to launch his protest fast at JP Park after Delhi Police failed to persuade him to give it up.
Police arrested him on the ground he was about to commit a cognisable offence but in a sudden turn of events government decided to release him.He spent the night in the administrative block of the jail along with his associate Arvind Kejriwal.
Hazare’s aide Manish Sisodia, who came out of the jail on Tuesday night, said though the Gandhian was given bail he did not agree to the terms and conditions imposed by authorities.
To a specific question, Sisodia said Anna has told the jail authorities that he will not leave the premises until the police tell him the status of his application for launching a hunger strike at the JP Park.
“He told them very clearly that he wants to sit and fast there with his followers. So this is the status and we are fasting here outside Tihar jail,” he said.