Protesters detained in Bawana, left to fend for themselves
Hundreds of protesters, who had courted arrest on Tuesday to support Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, were taken by buses to Rajiv Gandhi stadium at Bawana for detention. The stadium is nearly 35km away from Connaught Place, one of the centres of the agitation.delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2011 01:02 IST
Hundreds of protesters, who had courted arrest on Tuesday to support Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, were taken by buses to Rajiv Gandhi stadium at Bawana for detention. The stadium is nearly 35km away from Connaught Place, one of the centres of the agitation.
There, they were left to fend for themselves. The stadium is located beyond the urbane Delhi and when they were released late in the evening, there was no public transport that could have brought them back to the city's centre.
Ajay Saini, an advocate from Tis Hazari court who had courted arrest from Jai Prakash Narayan park on Tuesday morning, said, "They kept us at the stadium the whole day before letting us off at around 7pm. We were not offered food. Only drinking water was provided. I had asked the police to 'arrest' us, but they would not. They said we were merely ‘detained’.”
Scores of agitators including women—who had gathered at Pragati Maidan on Tuesday evening—too had been bundled off in buses to Bawana. One such group was the Kisan Sangh that had come all the way from Madhya Pradesh and had four women in their midst.
The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium is quite far from the main outer ring road. "We were let off at such an odd hour that we had no option but to walk to a nearby DTC bus depot. The place was so godforsaken that anything could have happened to us and no one would have
come to know," said a female protester, who did not wish to be named.
A senior official said on condition of anonymity, "We dropped them off so far away deliberately. The idea was to prevent them from coming back to the spot."-a strategy that was defeated as several protesters came back to join the agitation again on Wednesday.