Anna’s protest: From Ground Zero

A Ground Zero report from Rajghat on Anna Hazare’s day long fast.

Biplob Ghosal

People from all walks of life chanting slogans `Bharat Mata ki jai` and `Inquilaab Zindabad` were seen flocking to the Rajghat in Delhi, where Anna Hazare along with his team and supporters were protesting against the police crackdown on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and thousands of supporters at Ramlila Ground after midnight Saturday.

From students to office-goers to housewives with their children, all were seen here protesting against corruption and police action on innocent people.
Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, who is on a day-long fast to protest against the police action on innocent people at Ramlila Ground, accused the government of trying to scuttle the proposed Lokpal Bill aimed at ending corruption in high places. The Magsaysay Award winner activist also called the mounting a nationwide campaign against corruption as India`s second independence struggle.

Along with Anna Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, social reformist Swami Agnivesh, Right to Information activist Arvind Kejriwal, former top cop and activist Kiran Bedi were present at Rajghat.

Many religious leaders from all community also shared their thoughts and lent support to the cause.

Rajghat, which is a memorial to the Father of the Nation - Mahatma Gandhi, was blooming with the Tricolour flying everywhere amidst throbbing patriotism.

A supporter of Anna Hazare`s crusade, Vishal Mishra, student of Sikkim Manipal University said, "The government is hassled with the situation and is acting weirdly."

It seems the crackdown on Saturday night at Ramlila Ground has not gone well with the public. Anger reflected in their words and the banners spoke about the cause they were espousing. People were even carrying posters of Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal terming them as General Dyer.
Criticising the government`s action on Ramlila Ground, an activist of Patanjali Yogpeeth from Gurgaon said, "The government action was wrong. It was a pre-planned action to disrupt Baba`s anti-graft movement."

"A notice should have been served and then such an action been initiated," he added.

"We are not afraid of dying and will do anything for the development of the nation," he replied when asked about any fear was there after Saturday night`s crackdown.

A supporter of Jan Lokpal Bill and an active member of India Against Corruption movement, Raghubir Singh Chandolia termed the Congress government as corrupt.

"Rahul Gandhi has time to go to Niyamgiri and Bhatta Parsaul, but has nothing to say on this issue. It seems he is only interested in gaining political mileage," the activist said.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi the activist said, “If a leader is heading many corrupt people then he should take responsibility.”

Accusing the government of being autocratic, one of the activists said, "We have nothing to fear if the government resorts to lathi charge. We will bear it and if needed we are ready to get arrested."

Meanwhile, speaking on the issue whether the PM and the judiciary should come under the ambit of Lokpal Bill or not, Anil Rana, an advocate from Noida court said, “Both should come under the Lokpal Bill and then there will be more accountability.”

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