There was a sense of anticipation outside Tihar Central Jail here on Wednesday afternoon where hundreds of Anna Hazare’s supporters had gathered early, waiting for the anti-corruption crusader and his associates to come out.
The crowds gathered outside the gate of the Director General (Prisons) office shouted slogans, waved the national flag and demanded the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Several banners conveyed the anger felt by the supporters of Mr. Hazare, especially towards the manner in which he was picked up from Mayur Vihar on Tuesday morning.
Members of civil society including Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Swami Agnivesh and Akhil Gogoi besides Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar visited Tihar Jail to rally support for Anna.
Prashant Bhushan said Anna will continue his sit-in protest inside the jail premises until he was allowed to “sit on a fast unconditionally” at Jayaprakash Park or at some other venue. “Thereafter, we are ready for any discussion with the Government. But before that it is not possible,” Mr. Bhushan said.
Meanwhile, indications of some understanding being reached with the authorities gave hope to people. In the afternoon, Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also reached the venue to express solidarity with Mr. Hazare’s cause even as his fast entered the second day on Wednesday.
Mr. Hazare’s aide Manish Sisodia told mediapersons on Tuesday night following his release from jail that the Ghandian had been fasting since the time of his arrest from Mayur Vihar.
Several sections of the protestors including auto-rickshaw drivers and lawyers have struck work to express their solidarity with Mr. Hazare.
Lawyers have reportedly abstained from appearing in all six district courts in the capital protesting against the non-inclusion of the judiciary in the Lok Pal Bill and the “illegal” arrest of Mr. Hazare.
A large crowd also gathered outside Chhathrasal Stadium near Model Town on Wednesday afternoon.