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Protests against corruption continue

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 17 � Voices of anger against the rampant corruption in the country and a government seen as indifferent towards the demand of the common man for an end to the prevailing situation was loud on Wednesday in the capital city that witnessed many protest programmes.

India Against Corruption, Assam Branch staged a relay hunger strike at the NCP office ground opposite Shanti Udyan, Dighalipukhuri. A human chain and candle light vigil also marked the protest programme.

The disappointment of the public with the Lokpal Bill prepared by the government has been deep and it was evident from the sharp criticism of the Bill by cross section of the population as well as the Opposition.

�The Congress government has prepared a Lokpal Bill that has greater penalties for a complainant who is unable to prove his complaint against a public servant than the public servant indulging in corruption,� said Niranjan Lahkar, a law student.

It needs to be mentioned here that the Bill has been slammed by the civil society and the Opposition as it is so designed that it gives greater protection to the corrupt and leaves out from its purview more than 98 per cent of the public servants in the country.

�Public funds that could have completely eradicated poverty and infrastructure problems in India are regularly stolen and lost every year due to corrupt government administrators and politicians who thrive in a system that has ineffective anti-corruption institutions and laws,� said another citizen.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Assam Pradesh pointed out that the bill contains several clauses to protect the corrupt rather than punish them. The party while describing the response of the UPA government towards the movement against corruption as shameful said that it will continue to raise its voice against corruption.

The party held sit-in-demonstrations in all the districts including Guwahati. A protest procession was taken out in the capital city by the BJP.

On the other hand, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Kamrup (Metropolitan) District Committee took to the streets demanding a strong Jan Lok Pal Bill to eliminate corruption in the country. The committee also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Deputy Commissioner.

The young generation registered its irritation with the government by participating in large numbers in the protest programmes. At the Institute of Higher Education, Gauhati University, students, teachers and employees put black masks and demanded a strong anti-graft legislation to check corruption. This organized initiative was taken by the AASU unit of the university.

The North East Students Organization and the AASU while slamming the UPA government have demanded a strong Jan Lok Pal Bill. The AASU took out a torchlight procession across the State protesting against the repressive policies of the government that has failed to honour the sentiment of the masses.

The AGP sources said that the party will stage a sit-in demonstration tomorrow in front of the party headquarters.

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