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Indian anti-graft activist ends 13-day hunger strike

MOSCOW, Aug. 28 — Indian anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare ended his 13-day high-profile hunger strike on Sunday, a day after parliament agreed to consider his demands over proposed legislation.

The 74-year-old Gandhian accepted a glass of tender coconut water mixed with honey from a Dalit and a Muslim girl on a stage in New Delhi in front of tens of thousands of cheering supporters, before delivering a speech broadcast live on national television.

Hazare has tapped a groundswell of public anger against endemic corruption, uniting the country's budding middle-class against hapless politicians and underlining voter anger at the ruling Congress party.

Referring to Parliament's decision to consider three of his demands – Citizen's charter, inclusion of lower bureaucracy and creation of an independent body with the power to investigate politicians and civil servants suspected of corruption, Hazare said: "It's a proud moment for the country that a mass movement which was carried out for 13 days was peaceful and non-violent."

However, an expected vote on the proposals has not taken place yet.

The activist had vowed not to stop until a tougher bill was passed, but doctors have warned that his health is deteriorating rapidly. He has so far lost seven kilograms in weight and has refused medical advice to be put on an intravenous drip to help him rehydrate. (PNA/RIA Novosti) scs/mec

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