The authorities tend to be more careful in the capital, as anything that happens here can spread like wildfire to the rest of the country. A little over a year ago, when they attacked another anti-corruption activist and his followers, their reputation suffered terribly. [In June 2011, police conducted a night raid on the protest camp of Baba Ramdev and his supporters
, who were protesting against “black money”.] Since then, they have usually just arrested anti-corruption protesters. [During a major protest two weeks ago, they arrested 1,300 people
I think the authorities cracked down on us because, in the past, when we protested against everyday corruption – that is, having to pay bribes for everything from drivers’ licenses to birth and death certificates – the government could still ignore us. However, this time, we have an official report by one of the highest authorities in the country, the Comptroller and Auditor General, proving our leaders at the highest level have engaged in corruption. The government has no answer for this; its back is against the wall.
The police may also have felt they had more leeway because, while opposition parties would usually raise a ruckus against any violence against protesters, the opposition is also implicated in this scandal
. [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also defended his government
by alleging that opposition bore responsibility for creating the system for selling off coal blocks.]