Prompted by former IPS officer Kiran Bedi’s comment about an anti-corruption helpline, supporters of Anna Hazare have been dialling 101, the emergency number for Delhi Fire Service, to lodge complains of corruption.
“Just like 101, the emergency number in case of fire, there can be 101 as anti-corruption help line. Anywhere you come across corruption, call up this number and the van comes to arrest the corrupt,” Bedi had explained last Friday at the Ramlila Maidan.
A senior fire department officer said they received over 300 calls on Saturday, a day after Bedi made the statement from the podium at Ramlila Ground.
“She was giving an example but the crowd was not able to understand and started dialing 101. Our men had to tell them they can’t file corruption related complaints here,” he added.
The callers were asking questions such as what is Lokpal, why the Jan Lokpal bill was not being introduced, and others.
“Many of the callers talked about facing corruption and wanted to lodge a complaint,” said a senior fire department officer who did not wish to be named. “Our normal routine was being affected as fire related calls were not coming through,” he added.
“We were receiving 15-20 calls every hour but since Bedi did not repeat her statement, the number of calls is now going down. We would have written a letter to India Against Corruption (IAC) to issue a clarification but since the calls are decreasing, we have decided against it,” the officer said.
But the fire department is likely to get more such calls after a banner asking people to lodge complaints related to corruption by dialling 101, has been placed at the Ramlila Maidan on Thursday.
The banner has the content of speech given by Kiran Bedi. “We will ask IAC to clarify on stage if we start getting calls again,” the fire department officer said.