Report: India

Police use tear gas against protestors in India

Supporters of veteran Indian social activist Anna Hazare block a bus carrying their fellow comrades who had been detained by the police during a protest against corruption in New Delhi
Supporters of veteran Indian social activist Anna Hazare block a bus carrying their fellow comrades who had been detained by the police during a protest against corruption in New Delhi Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Police used tear gas and water cannons as hundreds of anti-corruption activists led by the organization India Against Corruption staged noisy protests near the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

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After protesters broke through police barricades after hours of drama, security forces opened up the water cannons and used batons to disperse them.

Cuffles broke out when police tried to push back the charged up activists.

Hundreds of protesters belonging to India Against Corruption were arrested and forced into waiting buses.

They had tried to cordon off the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari

Demonstators blame the politicians for selling off coal blocks to private companies.

Arvind Kejriwal, the AIC leader, was briefly detained.

"We had two objectives behind this protest. One was to tell the people of the country that both the Congress and the BJP were involved completely in corruption and are two sides of the same coin. They work together."

India's state auditor last week said the controversial sale of coal blocks had cost billions of dollars to the exchequer since last year.

The scandal is a new development in a string of corruption scandals to hit Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government. The movement against corruption is slowly gaining momentum.

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