Manish Sisodia only one to walk out of the prison late at night

Having received orders for unconditional release of Anna Hazare and his seven associates, Tihar Central Jail authorities were at their wits end on Tuesday evening as Anna dug in his heels and refused to leave, though one of his associates came out only to join the swelling crowd of protesters outside.

“We have received orders for their release and technically they are now out of prison. However, Anna has refused to leave till his demand for unconditional permission to hold the fast at the Jayaprakash Narayan Park is met,” said a Tihar Jail official. Manish Sisodia was the only one to walk out of prison till late at night.

The release orders were issued around 8 p.m. by the magistrate who had earlier in the day remanded Anna and the others to seven days' judicial custody after they refused to furnish a personal bond and undertaking that they would not defy the prohibitory orders. The high drama began unfolding at 7-15 a.m. when a police team reached Anna's residence at Mayur Vihar in East Delhi just as he was about to leave for the venue. When an officer asked him if he proposed to go to the Jayaprakash Narayan Park despite the prohibitory orders, Anna replied in the affirmative and was then taken into custody.

Arrested along with him were Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Darshak, Navin Jaihind, Radhey Shyam, Dada Phatare and Suresh Phatare. Angry Anna supporters tried to block the vehicles in which Team Anna was being taken away, however the police managed to whisk them to the Gazetted Officer's Mess in Civil Lines, close to the historic Old Secretariat.

Soon after Anna's arrest, former police officer Kiran Bedi and former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan offered themselves up to the police at Rajghat. They were detained under the Delhi Police Act.

As news of Anna's arrest spread, protesters carrying the national Tricolour and shouting slogans in his support started descending at Civil Lines in large numbers. They courted arrest in groups and were bundled away in buses to the nearby Chhatrasal Stadium.

After the protest intensified, the police swiftly moved Anna and others to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (West Delhi) in Rajouri Garden. They were produced before an Assistant Commissioner of Police with magisterial powers. The magistrate ordered release of Team Anna on furnishing of personal bonds and an undertaking that they would not defy the prohibitory orders. However, they turned down the conditions, following which the court sent them to seven days' police custody.

While Anna and three others were taken to Jail No.4 around 3-30 p.m., Arvind Kejriwal and the rest were lodged in Jail No. 1 of Tihar Jail. Kiran Bedi, who was kept at Police Lines near Old Secretariat, and Shanti Bhushan were let off later in the evening.

While Delhi Police Commissioner B. K. Gupta quoted the number of detentions at 1,500, Anna supporters claimed that it was much higher. “The protests remained peaceful. The policemen deployed to maintain law and order were not armed,” he said.

All the detainees were released in the evening.

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