New Delhi: Public support for the country’s biggest anti-corruption icon Anna Hazare is swelling up by the hour almost a day after his arrest, his landing in Tihar Central Prison and subsequent ‘release’ by the government under tremendous pressure last night.
This is evident from the fact that a large number of his supporters stayed put through the night outside the Tihar jail and expressed solidarity with Hazare and his campaign against corruption.
Similarly, his supporters continued to protest against the arrest of noted Gandhian by holding national flags, rallies and candle light marches in every nook and corner of the country.
As per reports, the noted social worker spent the whole night in Tihar Jail, refusing to come out, insisting on an unconditional release and permission to launch his fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park in Central Delhi.
74-year-old Hazare, who is continuing his fast-unto-death, spent the night at one of the rooms in the Administrative Block of the jail premises along with his associate Arvind Kejriwal.
Hazare was freed last night after the Delhi Police issued warrants of release for him and seven of his associates, almost 13 hours after they were picked up from the a flat in Mayur Vihar in east Delhi yesterday morning and remanded to seven days judicial custody.
The Gandhian`s aide Manoj Sisodia came out of the jail last night and said that Hazare had told the authorities that he would come out of the prison only after a written unconditional permission was given to continue his fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park, where he was to launch his hunger strike yesterday.
This morning, as per reports, Hazare got up at around 5.00 AM and was involved in a discussion with Kejriwal and his other associates who are in the prison along with him.
Sisodia today said that the "We don`t have any information on when he will come out."
Outside the jail premises, shouting anti-corruption slogans and holding the national tricolour, people from all walks of life started pouring in large numbers from early hours of the day and joined others who were standing outside the jail premises through the night.
Morning walkers also joined the supporters demanding that the Government release Anna Hazare and his supporters. Meanwhile, additional security personnel were deployed outside the Tihar Jail, where hundreds of Hazare`s supporters are camping.
Around 30 police personnel in riot-gear were deployed early this morning at the main gate outside the office of Director-General of Tihar prisons.
In view of growing public support for the social crusader, Tihar administration is likely to take a decision on Anna Hazare at around 10 am.
Meanwhile, the core group of the ruling Congress party is also likely to meet in a short while to decide the future course of action in this regard. It is being reported that the crisis managers of the UPA Government have initiated back room parleys to persuade Anna Hazare to give up his demand for an unconditional release and permission to launch his fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park.
Sources also claim that Swami Agnivesh could mediate between the government and Team Anna and start negotiations with the two sides.
With PTI Inputs