27 Aug 2011

Indian PM urges end to hunger strike

8:12 am on 27 August 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India has again urged anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare to end a hunger strike.

Mr Hazare, 74, has refused efforts by doctors to rehydrate him during the fast which he began on 15 August.

Aides say he has lost more than 5kg and is weak.

The government wants to introduce an anti-corruption bill which will include suggestions contained in the bill drafted by Mr Hazare's team who want it passed within four days for the sake of his health.

Tens of thousands of supporters are at a muddy expanse of open ground in the capital, New Delhi, where Mr Hazare is conducting his fast.

In April, Mr Hazare called off a hunger strike after four days when the government said he could help draft legislation to create a lokpal - a special ombudsman with the power to investigate politicians and civil servants suspected of corruption.

But the final version of the bill was rejected in early August, by Mr Hazare and others it because it said the prime minister and senior judges would be exempt from scrutiny.