At least 1,200 detained in Indian crackdown: minister

AFP , Tuesday 16 Aug 2011

At least 1,200 people have been taken into custody in New Delhi as police acts to halt a hunger strike by a veteran anti-graft activist

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday that a little over 1,200 or 1,300 people have been detained at different places. Chidambaram added that "we are not prohibiting a peaceful democratic protest".

He said the detentions had been due to protesters refusing to obey police conditions over the demonstration led by hunger striker Anna Hazare, who was among those held.

Police had told organisers that the high-profile rally at a public park in Delhi would be limited to 4-5,000 people and that it could only last three days.

Hazare's planned protest was to pressure the government into strengthening a new anti-corruption law.

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