Hundreds of people show up at various locations in Delhi on Wednesday
A day after anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare was arrested and subsequently orders were issued for his release, the movement unleashed by him sparked a massive outrage, with hundreds of people throwing their weight behind Anna's cause by showing up at various locations in the Capital on Wednesday.
At one such location, the Chhatrasal Stadium, sloganeering continued throughout the day. Etched with flowers at the heart of the stadium ground were the words, “Woh Yahan Bhi Aaye Theh. Anna, Jai Hind.”
Bolstering the morale of the protesters from Delhi as well as from States including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab, were local businessman, volunteers, Delhi University students, and non-governmental organisation members who pooled their resources to distribute free aloo-poori, fruits , water and biscuits to supporters at the stadium. Ameena Khan, 62, from Lucknow, said: “I have come to Delhi leaving my husband and children behind as I wanted to extend support to Anna in every way I can. I have decided not to return home till he is released. All food and facilities are available here and I am very comfortable here.”
Twenty-two-year-old differently-abled student Raja Bhaiya who was detained on Tuesday was back to join the movement at the stadium on Wednesday. “I have come from Chhatarpur in MP just to support Anna and I want to give him the message that if people like me can come from MP to support him he has nothing to worry and should continue his movement undeterred,” he added.
Even as vociferous slogans of “Vande Matram” and “Inquilab Zindabad” reverberated in the air, there were volunteers fluttering the tricolour and standing on the roadside displaying the placard of ‘India Against Corruption'.
Despite the high drama at the stadium, there were no arrests or use of police force as the movement continued to be peaceful and symbolic, with no violence being reported. According to ‘India Against Corruption', over 5,000 people had been detained by the police on Tuesday at the stadium under Section 144, which was imposed following mass protests that broke out after Anna Hazare's arrest on the day. As more and more people poured in to court arrest on Tuesday, over 5,000 people also had to be accommodated at an alternate venue of Rajeev Gandhi Stadium in Bawana.
However, unlike on Tuesday, there were no temporary detentions by the police on Wednesday, and they remained as mere bystanders passively observing the proceedings. Apart from one carriageway along the Ring Road stretch outside the stadium gate, traffic flow was uninterrupted with diversions being lifted since Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev also reached the stadium premises on Wednesday afternoon and addressed Anna Hazare's supporters criticising the government's attempts to “stifle the movement”. He reiterated his earlier demand for bringing black money stashed away in the banks abroad.
Keywords: Anna Hazare