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Fearing crackdown, supporters stand guard

delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2012 01:14 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
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With the Ramlila Ground crackdown by Delhi Police fresh in their minds, 200-odd supporters of Team Anna stood guard at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday night.

As those fasting core members retired to bed in the nearby tents after 8pm, the members of Jai Hind Sena took charge of security at the venue.

The 50-odd members of this group, mostly from Haryana, were also not letting anyone climb the stage.

"At night many times supporters try to come on to the stage but for security reasons we don't allow anyone," said Ranjit, a Jai Hind Sena member.

To keep themselves from falling off to sleep, the supporters would break into intermittent sloganeering - "Lok Pal, Lok Pal, Paas karo Jan Lok Pal'. Some even took turns to catch a brief sleep on the wet ground as it had rained for a while.

Ramdhar, one of the protesters, reminisced about the crackdown and said, "I was there when policemen thronged the Ramlila ground and forcibly evicted the supporters. We were suspecting that this could be repeated here too. Keeping that in mind, many of us who stayed back at the protest site have chosen not to sleep."

Security at the spot was also tightened after news of Pune blasts spread. Police's bomb disposal squad also made several rounds to check any unclaimed baggage at the spot.

Around 1am, the supporters panicked at seeing a large number of police personnel at the spot but they were told the officers were just changing their shift and there was no need to worry.