Zee News journo heckled by Team Anna 'supporters'
New Delhi: Poor response to their latest round of fast seems to have disillusioned Team Anna supporters who on Friday heckled journalists who were covering their fast at Jantar Mantar.
Among those with whom Team Anna supporters misbehaved included several women journalists and Zee News reporter Kuldeep Singh.
Singh’s reportage of thin crowd at the fast venue irked the supporters who then heckled him.
The incident came as people failed to turn up in large numbers at the fast venue for the third straight day.
The crowd count was around 300 at 11 am when Anna Hazare took the dais along with his close aides at Jantar Mantar. The protest site wore a deserted look with people seen only near the stage.
Fasting Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, a diabetic whose health condition worsened a bit, made a brief appearance at the dais while others like Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai sat with Hazare.
Another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi was not present. She tweeted, "today in Pune for two prior committed speaking engagements. Perhaps a bit of a break of a different kind".
As Hazare took to the stage, some people misbehaved with media persons and even pushed them.
After journalists complained to police, organisers announced that those indulging in such acts were not with the movement and police should take action against them.
Organisers blamed the incident on miscreants who are out to disrupt the fast.
Later, journalists identified a person who misbehaved with a woman media person and handed him over to volunteers.
Two women journalists said that they were pushed by some men who misbehaved with them.
Questions are already being asked whether Team Anna’s movement against corruption has fizzled out with less and less number of people coming out to support their cause.
Unlike in the past, crowds that had thronged the protest venue are missing this time. The organisers had yesterday issued appeals to "mothers, wives and daughters" to flock to the protest site at Jantar Mantar on Friday.
The fast in Mumbai last December showed the movement had lost steam and the latest round at Jantar Mantar also appears to be headed for an early wind up if crowds fail to turn up in the next few days also.
Meanwhile, yoga guru Baba Ramdev is expected to be at the fast venue later today at 3.30 pm and will bring in much needed crowd in the form of his supporters.
There is a general feeling of confusion among the masses about which way the movement is headed. While Team Anna’s main focus was Lokpal Bill till last year, this time around they are demanding an SIT against corrupt Union Cabinet ministers.
Also, Hazare and his team members appear to be speaking in different voices.
On Thursday too, Hazare refused to endorse his aides' attack against President Pranab Mukherjee.
Hazare appeared not in sync with his close aides levelling allegations against Mukherjee, who was sworn in as the new President, when he congratulated him on assuming the highest Constitutional office.
"He is the top most person in the country by becoming the President. I congratulate him," Hazare told reporters and refused to talk about the allegations raised by Team Anna against him, saying, "I do not want to speak about it."
In his speech also at the protest venue, he did not speak about Mukherjee or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Team Anna had even masked the photograph of Mukherjee in a collage at the site in a symbolic protest, alleging Congress has managed to put the 'chadar' (veil) of Constitution on the President, who has the immunity against any investigation.