96-year-old Gandhian confined to house by police

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A 96-year-old Gandhian and freedom fighter who had threatened to jump into the Yamuna river on Gandhi Jayanti (2 October) to protest sale of liquor has been confined to his house in Agra by police, family sources said.

Chimman Lal Jain was told by police to stay at home.

Jain had on Thursday evening left the house without informing anyone of his whereabouts. He was later traced, brought back home around 9 p.m. and asked to remain in the house.

“Legally speaking, no order or warrant has been issued, but he has been firmly told to remain confined to his house,” a family source said.

Jain on Thursday afternoon addressed a meeting at Shahid Smarak and said that he was firm on his earlier announcement of jumping into the river Yamuna from the Strachey Bridge at 10 a.m. on Friday. A large number of social activists cheered him as he demonstrated how to spin yarn on the charkha.

Jain said, “I had publicly announced several months ago that I would jump into the river and end this life if the UP government did not stop the sale of liquor in the state. I am firm and will definitely take the plunge.”

Activist Rajiv Saxena said social activist Anna Hazare had sent a message two days ago requesting Jain to reconsider his stand and work with voluntary groups to sharpen and sensitise people on the abuses of liquor.

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