India

India anti-corruption protest: Kejriwal, Rai's health worsens

Anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal
Image caption Arvind Kejriwal has said he will not end his fast over health concerns

The health of two Indian anti-corruption activists, who have been on a protest hunger-strike for eight days, is deteriorating.

Arvind Kejriwal and Gopal Rai are key aides of the leading Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, who has also been fasting for the past four days.

Doctors have advised Mr Kejriwal and Mr Rai to be taken to hospital urgently, but the duo have refused treatment.

They are campaigning for the strong anti-corruption Lokpal bill.

The Lokpal bill was passed by the lower house of parliament but the upper house adjourned amid chaos in December without passing the controversial legislation.

It would empower an independent ombudsman to prosecute politicians and civil servants suspected of corruption.

The protests at Delhi's Jantar Mantar observatory have been attended by thousands of people.

Mr Kejriwal and Mr Rai have resisted being taken to hospital for the last few days and Mr Kejriwal has warned the government "not to try to arrest us and force us to go to hospital. The consequences will be bad".

Four hundred others are also on a protest hunger-strike along with the activists.

A 12-day fast by Anna Hazare last August almost brought the government to its knees and led to the introduction of the Lokpal bill in parliament.

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