Punjab, Haryana

Khap panchayats today joined the protests in support of Anna Hazare in Punjab and Haryana where the Gandhian’s supporters took out car and bike rallies and staged a demonstration outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s private residence in Chandigarh.

As the protests spread, people in rural areas were seen participating in demonstrations in support of Mr. Hazare.

Khap spokesman Suresh Koth said the khap panchayats (caste councils) in Haryana are observing a hunger strike in Jind, the Jat heartland of Haryana, and other places in support of Hazare’s movement.

The Chandigarh administration had on Monday promulgated prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons outside the residences of five VIPs, including that of the Prime Minister.

The Additional District Magistrate had imposed the orders within hours of Mr. Hazare’s supporters protesting outside the residence of Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal in Sector 28 on Monday.

Representatives of many NGOs are observing a fast in the city besides former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan.

“The protest will continue till the government comes out with a strong Jan Lok Pal Bill to save the country from the menace of corruption,” an activist said.

At several places in the two states, youth were seen holding a box and seeking donations for Mr. Hazare’s movement whereas at other places people took out car and bike rallies.

Bihar

Activists of Bihar unit of ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC) today held demonstrations, observed fast and silence at different places in the state in support of Mr. Hazare’s movement.

Lawyers under the banner of Bihar Income Tax Bar Association and activists of the IAC held demonstration and observed day-long fast near the main gate of Patna High Court, State IAC Convenor Sanjay Kumar Dutta said. Similar protests were reported from different places in the state, he said.

IAC activists held fast, staged sit-ins, took out processions and carried out signature campaigns in solidarity with the Dharna and fast observed by Anna Harare at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

“IAC activists are visiting every village and town in the state as part of the wider campaign to express solidarity with Mr. Hazare’s movement against corruption,” Mr. Dutta added.

Assam

All shops and business establishments in Guwahati on Tuesday downed their shutters to express solidarity with the social activist Anna Hazare who is observing a fast demanding a Jan Lokpal bill.

Shops and business establishments put down their shutters in the busy commercial hubs of Fancy Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar, Pan Bazaar and Ganeshguri.

People came out in large numbers to express their support for Mr. Hazare, whose fast entered its eighth day today, shouting slogans like ‘Hum Anna ke Saath Hai’ (We are with Anna), ‘End Corruption, Bring Jan Lokpal’ among others.

The business community also took out a procession in Fancy Bazaar area of the city to protest government’s “apathy” on the Jana Lokpal issue.

There was, however, no report of any untoward incidents, officials said.

Meanwhile, the ongoing protest at the NCP Ground in Dighalipukhuri under the aegis of India Against Corruption continued for the eighth day with prominent intellectuals, social activists and students participating in the sit-in demonstration.