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August 19, 2011
Prominent Indian activist begins public fast
NEW DELHI (AP) -- An activist who has adopted Mohandes K. Gandhi's hunger-strike tactics and galvanized Indians' anger over government scandals led thousands of cheering supporters Friday in a protest he branded a "new freedom struggle."
Anna Hazare's direct appeal to the government demanding that it pass his version of an anti-corruption bill has left Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's administration scrambling to respond.
Police briefly arrested the high-profile activist on Tuesday to stop his protest, then caved in and granted him permission for a 15-day public fast after he refused to leave the jail amid an outpouring of support for his cause.
On Friday, he walked out of Tihar Jail to wild shouts of "Long live Mother India" and a shower of rose petals. Hours later he rallied a crowd that braved the pouring rain at a fairground in the capital, where he planned to stay for the next two weeks.
(27 images)



India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, center, shouts slogans after emerging from the gates of Tihar prison where he was lodged since Aug. 16, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Nearly 2,000 men, women and schoolchildren had gathered outside the jail on Friday morning to catch sight of the white-clad activist who has channeled the tactics of Mohandas K. Gandhi into his fight to force the government to adopt his proposals for an anti-corruption law. AP / Saurabh Das


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India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, center, waves to supporters as he prepares to exit from the gates of Tihar prison where he was lodged since Aug. 16, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Gurinder Osan



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India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, center, waves to the crowd after emerging from the gates of Tihar prison where he was lodged since Aug. 16, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Saurabh Das



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India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, wearing a white cap waves to the crowd from atop a truck during a slow-moving procession to a protest venue, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Thousands of cheering supporters braved the pouring rain to greet Hazare as he arrived at the Ramlila fairground hours after he stepped out of a New Delhi jail to wild cheers of "Long live Mother India" and a shower of rose petals. AP / Anonymous



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India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare waves an Indian flag after emerging from the gates of Tihar prison where he was lodged since Aug. 16, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP /



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A supporter dances as India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, center on a truck, waves to the crowd during a slow-moving procession to a protest venue, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Supporters crowd around the car carrying India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare during a slow-moving procession to a protest venue, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP /



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Supporters of social activist Anna Hazare react to the camera as they follow his vehicle during a procession to a protest venue, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Supporters of India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare throw rose petals to celebrate as they wait for him outside Tihar prison, where he was lodged since Aug. 16, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Saurabh Das



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Policemen form a human chain around India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare as he arrives at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Tsering Topgyal



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India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare sits in the backdrop of a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the venue of a public hunger strike in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. AP / Mustafa Quraishi



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Indian supporters of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare shout slogans as they participate in a torch rally in his support in Ahmadabad, India, Thursday, Aug.18, 2011. AP / Ajit Solanki



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A child participates in a candlelight vigil in support of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare in Chennai, India, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011. AP /



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A supporter of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare displays his handcuffed hands in front of a portrait of Hazare during a protest against corruption in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Aug.18, 2011. AP / Mahesh Kumar A



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Laborers prepare the venue for a public protest due to headed by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare at a fairground in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011. AP / Manish Swarup



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Supporters of India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare gather in a show of support near the India Gate memorial in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. AP / Kevin Frayer



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An activist holds a placard during a rally in Bhubaneswar, India, in support of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare who is holding a hunger strike in a prison in New Delhi Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. AP / Biswaranjan Rout



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Supporters of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare place a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, bottom, near a marking on the road that reads "Anna" outside the Tihar prison where Hazare was holding his hunger strike in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Supporters of India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare shout slogans as they gather in a show of support outside the Tihar prison complex where Hazare is holding his hunger strike in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug.17, 2011. AP / Saurabh Das



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Supporters of Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare hold an Indian flag as they chant slogans, as police move to detain them in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Kevin Frayer



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A supporter of Indian rights activist Anna Hazare shouts slogans after Hazare was detained prior to beginning a hunger strike in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Kevin Frayer



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Supporter of social activist Anna Hazare shout slogans after they are detained in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Gurinder Osan



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Supporters of Indian rights activist Anna Hazare shout slogans during a rally in support of Hazare in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Rafiq Maqbool



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India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party activists and supporters of prominent anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare shout slogans during a protest in Amritsar, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Altaf Qadri



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Supporters of Indian rights activist Anna Hazare try to block a police van after he was detained prior to beginning a hunger strike in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. AP / Manish Swarup



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An Indian police officer hits news photographer Shekhar Ghosh, right, from the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, during a protest against corruption by supporters of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. AP / Kevin Frayer



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Supporters of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout from atop a barricade as they are hit with a police water canon during a protest against corruption at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. AP / Kevin Frayer



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