Anna supporters take out candlelight vigils
New Delhi: Angry over his arrest, thousands of supporters of social activist Anna Hazare shouted slogans in his support as they held candlelight vigils at several places in the city on Tuesday.
Raising slogans in support of Hazare, the protesters with candles, placards and banners in their hands gathered at India Gate, Chhatrasal Stadium where thousands of Hazare's supporters were detained, and outside Tihar Jail where the Gandhian was been kept.
"Is this really a democracy? Don't we have the right to protest peacefully in our own country? This is not the India Mahatma Gandhi fought for," said 32-year-old software engineer Julio Joy protesting at India Gate.
The protesters, cutting across all sections of society, criticised the government for arresting the activist. They also denounced the detaining and arrest of thousands of other activists by the Delhi Police.
"The government is digging its own grave with such foolish actions and display of pure arrogance. I pray to god that the people in power get some sense," said Sudhir Adhikari, a 62-year-old businessman protesting outside Tihar Jail.
Slogans like 'Anna nahi aandhi hain, yeh doosra Gandhi hain' (He is a blizzard, a second Mahatma Gandhi) and 'Jo kabhi nahi haare, woh Anna Hazare' (Who never lost to anyone, he is Anna Hazare) were raised by the protesters who vowed to intensify their agitation.
"We will not tolerate this and the government will have to pay. We won't indulge in violence but won't take this treatment lying down," said 28-year-old Vani Batra, a homemaker.
Hazare, fellow activist Arvind Kejriwal and six supporters were sent to Tihar Jail by a special executive magistrate for not signing a bail bond and promising not to violate prohibitory orders.
Police had clamped prohibitory orders at the JP Park where the activists were planning to sit on fast against corruption.