It was almost a stampede-like situation at Ramlila Maidan when anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare broke his 12-day-long fast and started addressing a 35,000-strong crowd.
The crowd soon turned violent and broke security blockades and stormed media stands. Though no untoward incident was reported, the excitement spread panic on the venue.
The situation became uncontrollable when people started pushing each other to catch a glimpse of Anna. It became tough for both the police and volunteers to control the mob, and in the process some volunteers sustained injuries too. Besides, pick pockets took advantage of the situation, with many people, including more than 10 journalists, complaining of losing their valuables.
Senior officials at the venue were requested to take charge of the situation, but they looked helpless. Soon, journalists requested civil society activist Manish Sisodia, who was on the stage with Anna, to end the show as there could be a stampede any moment. Anna himself made repeated requests to his supporters to be patient and disciplined, but to no avail.
Compared to Sunday’s jostle, people on Ramlila Maidan were peaceful during the last 10 days.
Barring some unpleasant instances, the show ended smoothly as the Delhi Police had made elaborate arrangements at Ramlila Maidan and India Gate.
More than 2,500 police personnel from the Delhi Police and CRPFw were deployed to control the crowd and manage the traffic. A police official said, more than 50,000 people attended the victory celebration at India Gate in the evening.