The arrest of Anna Hazare and other leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday morning even before he could launch his fast against corruption was condemned by one and all in the city and other parts of the district.

Political parties and organisations staged protest demonstrations and people in general expressed shock saying the government was stifling the voice of crusaders against corruption.

The demonstrations and fast planned for the day in support of Mr. Hazare were converted into protest programmes as soon as he was taken into custody.

The CPI took out a rally from the Gandhi statue in front of the GVMC main office to the Gurajada Appa Rao statue and burnt an effigy of the Central government. District secretary of the party J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy said the government was trying to stop the fight against corruption in an undemocratic manner. It was shameful to arrest Mr. Hazare, who was receiving support from all over the country, he said.

CPI Floor leader in the GVMC A.J. Stalin and assistant secretary of party city unit K. Satyanjaneya participated in the protest. CPI city secretary M. Pydiraju announced that the party would organise protest demonstration at all important centres in the city from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

‘Disgusting'

President of Praja Spandana C.S. Rao said the arrest of Mr. Hazare was disgusting.

The local chapter of the Indian Against Corruption, which began a day's solidarity fast near Gandhi statue, condemned the arrest of Mr. Hazare. Local coordinators of the organisation D. Srinvas Rao, Ravi Shankar Patro, and Gauthram Rathinam observed a day's fast.

CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao said the party would organise a protest demonstration at Jagadamba centre on Wednesday morning.

Greater Visakha unit of Telugu Yuvatha organised a relay fast in front of the GVMC main building. In the evening, the TDP took out a torch rally demanding the release of Mr. Hazare.

Lok Satta rally

Leaders and supporters of Lok Satta Party took out a rally from the GVMC Office at Asilametta to the Old Jail Road on Tuesday to condemn the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare, who is spearheading a campaign against corruption.

The Lok Satta demanded immediate setting up of a Lok Pal at the Centre, Lok Ayuktas in the State and ombudsmen in the districts through the Lok Pal Bill. The party leaders said that if the Opposition parties, organising protests today were committed to the cause, should immediately extend their support to the anti-corruption bill introduced by Jaya Prakash Narayan in the Assembly in 2009.

They said that the Lok Satta would continue its struggle till a three-tier Lok Pal system was introduced.

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