Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Police Used WAter Cannon, Tear Gas and Bamboo Batoos Against Anti-Corruption Mob
Indian police on Tuesday used water cannon, tear gas and bamboo batons to disperse thousands of opposition activists protesting against a slew of corruption scandals racking the government.
The demonstrators shouted "Down with the corrupt UPA government," referring to the Congress-led United Party Alliance headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The protests came on the same day as a nationwide survey published in a newspaper said a majority of Indians see their civil servants and lawmakers as the most corrupt groups in the country, comfortably beating business leaders.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents saw Singh's government as "very corrupt" or "somewhat corrupt", while many said his coalition's handling of anti-graft movements was "insincere".
The protest in central New Delhi was staged by the youth wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party which is the main opposition in parliament.
Demonstrators hurled stones and bottles at police who responded with water cannon and tear gas to break up the protest.
A group of protesters jumped police barricades and ran towards the parliament building but were stopped by the police.
The protest was part of a nationwide campaign launched by the BJP's student wing on Tuesday against the corruption-plagued government."This (government) has no right to remain in power," Bharti Kumbhare, a spokeswoman for the the youth wing, told reporters.
Thousands of opposition activists marched on the Indian parliament on Tuesday demanding the resignation of a prominent ruling Congress politician over corruption, the latest move to pressure the beleaguered government to act.
The opposition also staged a protest inside parliament forcing its closure at a time when it is slated to introduce reform legislation including one on easier land acquisitions.
Demonstrators led by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made speeches and shouted slogans in front of police barricades outside parliament.