Slamming the UPA government for the detention of Anna Hazare, political parties and supporters of the Gandhian leader called the move “unconstitutional” and demanded his immediate release.

Hazare’s supporters and several political leaders held protests and sit-in demonstrations across the city in protest against his detention in New Delhi this morning.

Over 300 supporters of Hazare blocked the traffic at Satwari Chowk on Jammu-Srinagar national highway and raised slogans against the UPA government.

They lambasted the government for putting forth a ‘weak’ Lokpal Bill in Parliament without taking Prime Minister and Judges under its ambit.

“We will intensify the protests if Anna is not released. We will court arrest in a large number as Anna is a face of the common man,” said Om Prakash Sharma, who sat on a fast-unto-death at the Satwari Chowk, holding Hazare’s picture and the tricolour.

“Instead of fighting against corruption, the Government is now fighting against Anna,” he said.

A sit-in demonstration was also held in front of the Press Club here by several social organisations under the banner of Jammu and Kashmir Sangrash Movement.

Samajwadi Party State Chief Sheikh Abdul Rehman said, “Jammu is fully backing Anna and the Lokpal Bill. Police and the Central government have done an unconstitutional act by arresting Anna, who was peacefully protesting over Lokpal.”

“What type of democracy are we talking about? It is totally autocracy, and emergency seems to be back,” former MP Rehman said.

Rallies in support of Anna were also held at Purani Mandi chowk, Janipur chowk, Manda Belt, Muthi, Gandhi Nagar and Gangyal area of the city by various social, trade and community organisations.

The protesters demanded that Hazare should be released immediately and a strong Lokpal bill be adopted by Parliament by including PM and Judges under its ambit.

BJP spokesperson S Arora said the Government had turned “autocratic” and taken an unconstitutional step by arresting Anna.

Over 400 activists of the Shiv Sena wearing chains held a march in the old city area.

“We demand that Anna should be released immediately. Government should tender apology to the people of country and Anna for his arrest,” party state chief Ashok Gupta said.

Jammu Bar Association also went on a strike, demanding the Gandhian leader’s release.

“We are observing a total strike in support of Anna,” Jammu Bar Association President, B S Salathia said.

“The government should solve the issue rather than suppressing it,” he said.