Hundreds of supporters gathered outside Tihar prison on Friday, eagerly waiting for the moment when anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare will come out of the jail after spending almost three days there.
People have been arriving in large numbers since early morning to participate in Mr. Hazare’s proposed yatra to Ramlila grounds, which will be the site of his ongoing indefinite fast for a strong Lokpal bill.
Supporters expressed happiness over the Gandhian’s decision to come out of the prison complex following rounds of negotiations with the police and authorities to decide on the agitation venue to undertake hunger strike.
“I have come here late last night to participate in this mass movement. It is our victory and we will remove corruption from the country with Annaji’s help,” said Ashok Marwah, a Dwarka resident who was among thousand others anxiously waiting for Mr. Hazare’s release.
S.P. Singh, a businessman who was offering refreshments to people protesting outside the prison, said: “I am happy that Anna will come out from Tihar today. Government must pass Jan Lokpal Bill and accept all demands of Anna unconditionally.”
“We will go with Anna and sit at Ramlila Maidan for as many days we can. We want Jan Lokpal Bill to kill this corruption,” Manjula, a teacher by profession, said.
A festive atmosphere prevailed here as people organised yagna and sang songs for Mr. Hazare’s well being and to extend support to the movement led by the anti-graft crusader.
Meanwhile, police have made elaborate security arrangements to keep any untoward incident at bay. Around 300 police personnel have been pressed into service outside Tihar.
Apart from this, a team of Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) has also come here along with sniffer dogs.
Notably, Delhi Police had detained Anna Hazare on August 16 hours ahead of his proposed fast at JP Park but had later decided to release him apparently succumbing to widespread pressure from the Gandhian’s supporters.
Meanwhile, the anti-corruption campaign of Mr. Hazare has received mass support from several parts of the country with people turning out in massive numbers in all major cities.