Volunteers of IAC shout slogans and tear copies of the govts draft Lokpal Bill outside UN building

New York

Extending support to activist Anna Hazares anti- corruption movement, members of the alt39 India Against Co

rruptionalt39 organisation demonstrated outside the UN building here saying the Indian governments Lokpal Bill draft is a ” joke” and protects the corrupt.

About 30- 40 India Against Corruption ( IAC) volunteers, including women and children, shouted slogans and tore copies of the governments draft of the Lokpal Bill, as they sought to draw attention of the international community to Hazares fight against corruption.

Ashim Jain, an IAC volunteer, told PTI that even though India had ratified the UN Convention against Corruption ( UNCAC) in May this year, the country is ” not following the convention and the UN should know about it.” Jain said the draft fails to meet even the most basic aspects of the UNCAC. He said corruption does not involve merely paying bribes.

It impacts national growth as money meant for eradicating poverty, improving health, education and rural infrastructure goes into the pockets of corrupt government administrators and politicians who thrive in a system that has ineffective anti- corruption laws.

The supporters donned paper alt39 Anna capsalt39 and wore white T- shirts with the slogan alt39 I support India Against Corruption.alt39 Waiving the Indian tricolour, they held banners and placards that read alt39 Jail the corruptalt39, alt39 Indian governments Lokpal Bill is a jokealt39, alt39 Stop abuse of power,alt39 and alt39 Lokpal is jokepalalt39 during the two- hour demonstration.

Partha Turaga, the New Jersey representative for IAC said Indians across the world have solidarity for Hazares movement.

” We support Anna Hazare who is a symbol for the fight against policies which are destructive to us. We want a better legislation which will benefit the common man and the country”, Turaga said.

He added that IAC will continue to stage such demonstrations until the Indian government agrees to Hazares demands. Turaga added that IAC will also be part of the Indian Independence Day parade to be held in Edison near here d show support to the a. Mohan 0is family from Chicago to participate in the demonstration, said India

does not have the ” legal instruments to fight corruption.

The current Lokpal draft is just a farce. In reality it protects the corrupt and not the ordinary citizens of India.” He said the proposed Lokpal Bill should not be made into law as it fails to provide citizens with needed safeguards and is silent on whistleblower protection.

Citing violations between UNCAC norms and the proposed bill, Thirumalai said the governments draft has greater penalties for a citizen who is unable to prove his complaint against a public servant than the public servant who has been proven to be corrupt.

” In letter and spirit, the bill is designed to give greater protection to the corrupt” and leaves out from its purview the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament and many other officials from Lokpals jurisdiction,” he added.

Hazare will begin another fast on the Lokpal Bill on August 16. He has threatened to stop drinking water if the government arrests him before or during the fast.

NRIs to join Annas fast New Delhi: A group of 25 non- resident Indians ( NRIs) from the Middle East will join Anna Hazares fast here from August 16 to demand the enactment of a strong Lokpal Bill, a statement said on Saturday.

Solidarity fast in Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram: Extending solidarity with anticorruption crusader Anna Hazare, a group of people from different walks of life will hold a fast here on August 16. The sitin will be inaugurated by Gandhian Gopinathan Nair at Martyrs Column in the city, organisers of the programme told a press meet here on Saturday. People from different professions would join the programme to be held from 10 am to 5 pm, they said.

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