New Delhi: The Anna wave swept across the nation as his supporters thronged the streets in support of his fast unto death against corruption and for a strong Lokpal bill.
As the news of his arrest spread early Tuesday morning, the common people of India cutting across caste, culture, religion and state lines took to streets to show solidarity with the Gandhian.
According to reports from the state capitals, hundreds
of people were detained by police in different cities and town
after they gathered in the main thoroughfares, shouting
slogans against the UPA government protesting the arrest. They
were later released.
The protests were peaceful and no violence was reported
from any part of the country, the reports said.
The 73-year-old Gandhian`s native village Ralegan Siddhi
in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra observed a bandh.
Protesting farmers came out on the roads along with their
cattle and blocked the traffic.
"The entire village is observing a bandh today," said
Hazare`s associate Datta Awari, adding that villagers
have decided to observe a fast to express solidarity with him.
"Approximately, 3,000-4,000 people have been detained
and released across Mumbai," City Commissioner of Police Arup
Patnaik said, adding they were picked up on the charges of
unlawful assembly after they held demonstrations.
Wearing Gandhi-caps which had "I Am Anna Hazare" etched
on it, the protesters carrying placards `Say no to corruption
and yes to Jan Lok Pal` came from diverse background and
included senior citizens, freedom fighters, youths and
students. Several demonstrators courted arrest.
Many wearing the "trade-mark" Anna "topi" and "India
Against Corruption" T-shirts, several students boycotted
classes to be part of the "movement" in Bangalore while
hundreds of techies took a break from work and poured into the
streets in Electronic city.
A section of the demonstrators in several cities
observed fast while several others sang patriotic songs.
In the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad, some of the
agitators got their heads shaved to protest the arrest of
Hazare in an early morning crackdown in Delhi.
As many as 219 people were arrested in various districts
in Uttar Pradesh, when Hazare`s supporters took to the streets
in the state, Special Director General of Police Brij Lal told
reporters in Lucknow.
In UP`s Etah, lawyers staged dharnas while in Gonda, they
abstained from all court work and disrupted road traffic on
the National Highway for over an hour.
In Basti, supporters of the Gandhian burnt copies of the
government Lokpal bill while in Gauriganj(CSM nagar) Sultanpur
and Ballia effigies of central government were burnt.
In Gorakhpur hundreds of Hazare`s supporters staged
a sit-in at the Gandhi statue at town hall here. However,
according to police no untoward incident has been reported from
any part of the city and no arrest has been made.
In Ghaziabad, an effigy of the Union government was
burnt by agitators today who protested against the arrest of
Large number of people took out procession in Vaishali,
Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, Modinagar, Pilakhuwa, Hapur, Loni,
Garhmukteshwar and Sahibabad.
There had been other no law and order problem anywhere in
Uttar Pradesh, Brij Lal added.
Criticising the police action action on Hazare,
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak today
termed the arrest of the anti-graft crusader as
"This is undemocratic to stop anyone to hold a
non-violent and peaceful agitation against corruption,"
Nishank said in a statement here.
Pledging their support to Hazare, around 500 people from
all walks of life took out a procession in Dharamsala in
However, the Congress unit in Rajasthan came down heavily
on the social activist claiming that his intentions were not
"good" and alleging that the BJP was "using" Hazare for its
own political interest.
"Anna Hazare`s intentions are not good and his arrest was
made in the national capital to keep law and order situation
under control," PCC President Chandrabhan said at a political
meeting in Malpura Assembly constituency here.
Meanwhile the CPI in Rajasthan termed the police action
against Hazare as unconstitutional and undemocratic and said
the party will observe tomorrow as a protest day demanding
a strong Lokpal Bill.
Traders of walled city areas in Jaipur announced a
four-day protest in support of Hazare and took out a rally in
the Pink City.
In Jodhpur the High court lawyers and advocates body
today decided to boycott the work in the courts tomorrow
justifying Hazare`s fight and terming the move of the
government as amounting to hurting the constitutional rights
to peaceful demonstration and democratic values.
In Punjab, the Chandigarh Administration today clamped
prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC banning assembly of
five or more persons in the Union Territory.
District Magistrate Chandigarh Birjendra Singh has issued
prohibitory orders amid apprehensions that some groups may
cause try to hamper the law and order situation.
In Hoshiarpur activists of various political parties and
NGOs participated held protest meetings, criticizing the