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US advice over handling of peaceful protests 'needless': India

August 12, 2011 - New Delhi

India on Friday said the United States' inputs on how to handle veteran social activist Anna Hazare's upcoming indefinite hunger-strike was "needless".

"We have seen the needless comments by the US State Department Spokesperson on handling of peaceful protests in India," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.

"Freedoms of speech and expression, as well as, of peaceful assembly, are enshrined in the Constitution of India and exercised by citizens of this country of 1.2 billion people," he added.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had earlier said that Washington expected New Delhi to exercise democratic restraint while dealing with the protests.

"As you know, we support the right of peaceful, non-violent protest around the world," Nuland had said during her daily news conference.

"That said, India is a democracy, and we count on India to exercise appropriate democratic restraint in the way it deals with peaceful protest," she had added.

Hazare is set to observe a fast-unto-death in New Delhi from August 16 to oppose the version of the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government, which has kept the Prime Minister, judiciary and lawmakers out of its ambit.


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