Civil society members and anti-corruption crusaders came out in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh in protest against the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare and other civil society members in New Delhi on Tuesday. Reports of dharna and demonstration by supporters of Mr. Hazare's anti-corruption campaign, who were demanding a strong Jan Lokpal, were received from almost the entire State.

While lawyers staged demonstrations in Lucknow and Allahabad, students and other civil society members participated in protests in Raebareli, Amethi, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Agra and Firozabad.

Special Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal told reporters that 219 persons were arrested and later released on their furnishing personal bonds. Mr. Lal said 30 people were arrested in Muzaffarnagar, 35 in Fatehgarh, 84 in Pratapgarh, 27 in Faizabad, and 43 in Sultanpur. Stating that the dharna and demonstration held in the State was peaceful, Mr. Lal said that memoranda demanding the immediate release of Mr. Hazare and a strong Jan Lokpal was submitted to the district administration by the protestors.

Mr. Lal said students, lawyers, and members of social organizations participated in the dharna and demonstration.

Several events marked the protest against the arrest of Mr. Hazare in the State capital. These included a protest meeting held at the Hydel hostel by the Joint Action Committee of U.P. Power Employees Federation, an anti-corruption signature campaign launched by the Save Cultural Values Foundation at Jhule Lal Park and Candle light march in the Gomti Nagar area.

Meetings and “nukkad nataks” (skits enacted on the roadside) were held in several other areas of the State capital.

Civil society members also registered their protest in Sitapur, about 80 kilometres from here.