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In PHOTOS | Anna comes home to a hero’s welcome

In PHOTOS | Anna comes home to a hero’s welcome
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First Published: Thu, Sep 01 2011. 05 48 PM IST

Updated: Thu, Sep 01 2011. 05 48 PM IST
Activist Anna Hazare returns to his village Ralegan Siddhi (Pune). AFP Photo
Ralegan Siddhi: Anna Hazare, the activist whose 13-day fast forced the government to reconsider a new law tackling graft, has returned to his village in triumph after leaving hospital.
After landing in Pune on Wednesday night, Hazare was straightway driven to the village and reached there at around 1.30 AM, sources said.
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Anna Hazare upon his arrival at Pune airport. PTI Photo
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Upbeat villagers stayed awake till late in the night to welcome the 74-year-old Gandhian, who is likely to participate in the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, they said
Hazare had spent four days in a New Delhi hospital after ending his public hunger strike in the capital on Sunday morning. During his fast he lost 7.5 kilogrammes (16.5 pounds) in weight.
“Anna’s health is excellent now,” Vibhav Kumar, one of Hazare’s spokesmen, told AFP. “He is eating normal food again.”
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Anna Hazare get red carpet welcome in his native village. PTI Photo
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Hazare’s campaign, which galvanized millions across the country, pressured the UPA government into agreeing in principle to some of his demands over new anti-corruption legislation.
Hazare, who regards the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi as his hero, stepping out of a car in Ralegan Siddhi, around 165 kilometres (100 miles) from Mumbai, to be greeted by well-wishers.
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On 28 August, Anna Hazare ended his 13-day fast against corruption. AP Photo
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“We have arranged for a ‘mahasabha’ tomorrow, we have informed him about that. He will not come out today and we will not request either. So, all the programmes will take place tomorrow now,” a villager said.
Hazare’s associate Shyam Asawa had said that the Gandhian had spoken to villagers over phone and asked them not to arrange any lavish reception for him.
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The battle against endemic corruption will continue, says the social activist. AP Photo
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He was also met by crowds waving the Indian flag and shouting slogans of support at Pune airport, before being driven to the village.
The veteran campaigner lives in a spartan room in a temple that he helped rebuild with his own money.
Ralegan Siddhi has became a magnet for visitors inspired by his cause.
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First Published: Thu, Sep 01 2011. 05 48 PM IST