Hazare`s village erupts in joy; residents hail victory

Residents of this village erupted in joy as one amongst them, Anna Hazare, called off his five-day old hunger strike on Saturday after the government issued a notification constituting a panel to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.

Last Updated: Apr 09, 2011, 15:13 PM IST

Ralegan Siddhi (Maharashtra): Residents of this
village, glued to TV sets since morning, erupted in joy as one
amongst them, Anna Hazare, called off his five-day old hunger
strike on Saturday after the government issued a gazette notification
constituting a panel to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.

"Anna is expected to reach here in the next few days. We
have planned a grand welcome for him. A victory procession
will be organised," Datta Awari, who handles Hazare`s office
at the village, said.

The villagers observed a bandh on Thursday to express
solidarity with the social crusader, who was on an indefinite
hunger strike in New Delhi to press for the enactment of the
anti-corruption bill.

Ralegan Siddhi villagers hoisted black flags or tied
black cloth on `gudis` (sticks) in `Gudi Padva` (Marathi New
Year) as a mark of protest against the government on April 4,
a day before Hazare began his fast.

"Now we will celebrate the real `Gudi Padva` after Hazare
arrives here," Awari said.

Since the last five days, around 2,000 inhabitants of
Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district, 79 km north of Pune,
were worried about the health of the anti-corruption crusader.
On Thursday, the work in the fields came to a standstill and
every shop remained shut as people expressed their solidarity
with Hazare.

Since April 5, locals in groups had observed a relay
hunger strike at Yadavbaba temple, where Hazare stays while in
the village.

Meanwhile, supporters of Hazare, gathered at Azad Maidan
in Mumbai since the last five days, celebrated as the noted
Gandhian ended his fast.

PTI