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India

Thousands join Indian anti-corruption marches

Reuters/B Mathur

Thousands of people marched through New Delhi and several other Indian cities on Sunday to protest against corruption in the country's government and state bodies. Protesters at rallies in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities called for an effective anti-corruption agency to be set up to counter a culture of bribes and scams.

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The rallies have been organised by the India Against Corruption movement, an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations, which was started two months ago on the internet. It says the campaign is not linked to any political party.

Shivendra Singh Chauhan, New Delhi

About 5,000 people attended the rally in New Delhi.

The organisers say the government's anti-corruption measures don't go far enough and that laws dating back to the 19th century are irrelevant.

Phone licences were recently sold by the government for a fraction of their value, with the apparent blessing of the telecoms minister.

Estimates put the losses of that deal at 40 billion euros. The Supreme Court has condemned the extreme plunder of the nation's wealth by tax evaders.

“This is not against this present government or any government in particular,” says Shivendra Singh Chauhan, a journalist who is with the organising citizen's movement. “This whole movement is based on changing the system for the betterment of people.”

Sunday is the anniversary of the death of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1948.

Politician Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday called for stringent action against corruption.

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