Over 100 supporters of social activist Anna Hazare staged a dharna in front of the rented house of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sarumotoria here on Monday. They beat drums, shouted slogans Anna Hazare zindabad and in support of the demand for tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.
The rented house of Dr. Singh, a Rajya Sabha member from this State, is owned by Hemoprova Saikia, former Assam Minister and wife of the former Chief Minister, Hiteswar Saikia.
Police arrived at the spot but Anna's supporters dispersed peacefully after about half an hour. The protesters included Guwahati BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty's daughter and award-winning filmmaker Suman Haripriya and son Ranajit Chakravarty, a lawyer.
Security has been beefed up at Dr. Singh's residence in the wake of the protests.
Anna's supporters staged a dharna in front of the residence of the BJP MP also. However, there were no reports of demonstration in front of the houses of other MPs from Assam.
Devesh Pandey reports from New Delhi:
In the capital, Mr. Hazare's supporters staged protests outside the residences of Ministers and MPs. Hundreds of protesters were detained and later released by the police.
The series of protests took off around 9.30 a.m. at the official residence of Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Teen Murti Marg. Nearly 50 protesters staged a demonstration demanding the tabling of a Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. “We were detained and taken to the nearby Chanakyapuri police station. The police released us around 5.30 p.m,” said Satish, a protester.
Another group gathered outside the bungalow of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the afternoon. “We went to his residence to present him flowers and seek his support. The police detained us all and kept us at the Parliament Street station, and we were released a few hours later,” said Mr. Santosh.
Hazare's supporters organised a sit-in outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Carrying placards and shouting pro-Anna slogans, some protesters also staged a demonstration outside the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road. “In all, 250 people were detained on Tughlak Road, 122 at Chanakyapuri and 34 at the Parliament Street police station,” said a police officer.
Representatives of some non-governmental organisations went to the Shahdara residence of Delhi Congress president and MP J.P. Agarwal. “We contacted him on the phone seeking an appointment to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill. However, he expressed his inability, stating he was busy with Janmashtami celebrations in the area,” said Mr. Satender.
There were random protests by several groups outside the house of Congress MP Mahabal Mishra in South-West Delhi. “We did not have to detain them as they left on their own,” said a police officer.
Anticipating widespread protests in different parts of the city, security outside the houses of Ministers and MPs was stepped up on Sunday. On Sunday evening, Anna's supporters staged protests outside the residence of Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Neeti Bagh.
Chitra V. Ramani reports from Bangalore:
Around 80 supporters of Mr. Hazare gathered outside the residence of Bangalore South MP H.N. Ananth Kumar on Monday.
The protesters, mainly residents of J.P. Nagar, met the MP and urged him to table the Jan Lokpal Bill as a private members' bill. Mr. Kumar told them that the BJP supported the Jan Lokpal Bill. “The BJP is against the government's Lokpal Bill that has been tabled; we want a stronger version of the same.”
Earlier in the day, Bangalore North MP D.B. Chandre Gowda met volunteers at the Freedom Park and said the BJP supported their movement. When they asked him why he supported the former Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, he said: “I have not supported any corrupt politician. I am doing what I can as an MP from the city. I am here in my personal capacity to support the Jan Lokpal Bill.”
Protest in Mughalsarai
Atiq Khan reports from Lucknow:
Mr. Hazare's supporters picketed the residence of Samajwadi Party MP Ram Kishun in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh.
The Chandauli MP told The Hindu that about 15 men reached his residence around noon. “They were mostly local RSS workers… Raising pro-Anna slogans, they demonstrated for five minutes and left shortly afterwards,” he said on the phone from Mughalsarai. When the demonstrators reached his residence, the MP was not there.
Making light of the demonstration, Mr. Kishun said the SP and its leader Mulayam Singh already extended support to Mr. Hazare's crusade against corruption and on the Lokpal issue.
Mr. Hazare's supporters staged a demonstration at the residence of the Congress MP from Kheri, Zafar Ali Naqvi.
Rahi Gaikwad reports from Mumbai:
Hundreds of Anna Hazare supporters laid siege to the houses of MPs in Mumbai and Thane demanding assurances that the public representatives would support the Jan Lokpal in Parliament.
A group from the suburb of Bandra and nearby places staged a march to Congress MP Priya Dutt's residence in upmarket Pali Hill, Bandra. The group comprised BJP supporters as well.
Ms. Dutt came out as soon as the crowd reached her house and assured the people that she would take the view of her constituency to Parliament.
Outside Congress, MP Milind Deora's residence at Ramalay, located on the plush Peddar Road, crowds staged a sit-in protest.
The supporters also gathered at MPs' houses from other parties as well.
Heavy police bandobast was in place at all the MPs' residences. Additional traffic police were also pressed into service to take care of possible disruptions.