New Delhi: Anna Hazare refused to be given saline drips and asked his supporters at the Ramlila ground to prevent the government from forcibly shifting him to a hospital.
Looking weak compared to earlier days, Hazare also said — on the eighth day of his fast in support of a strong Lokpal bill — that he was not afraid of dying.
Speaking in feeble voice, the 74-year-old said that he had been told that his kidneys showed signs of weakening and that he needed drips.
“I consulted my inner conscience… My inner conscience does not allow me to take saline drips,” he said, speaking from the raised platform where he has been on hunger strike that began Aug 16.
“It doesn’t matter if I die,” he said, as aides standing near him bowed their heads, some with tears in their eyes.
“If I die, so many Annas will emerge,” he added, pointing his hand towards the roaring, flag-waving crowds.
Hazare said there was a possibility of the government trying to shift him to the hospital.
“If they try to take me away forcibly, park yourself at the gates and don’t let me taken away,” he said, as the mass of supporters again roared in his support.
“But there should be no violence,” Hazare went on. “Whatever we do should be done non-violently. Violence is a crime.”
Earlier, Naresh Trehan, the chief doctor attending on him, said Hazare had refused to be shifted to hospital.
“He did not want to move from here. So we are putting him on drip here,” he said.
“His blood count is deteriorating. And we suggested to him that he be shifted to hospital. But he outright refused. He (Hazare) said, ‘I would rather die’,” Trehan said.
The cardiologist said a team of specialists, including a cardiologist, kidney specialist and critical healthcare experts, were keeping a watch on Hazare.