Aditi Bhardwaj from Delhi and Archana (goes by single name) came walking casually from Aurangzeb Road towards Kamal Ataturk Marg at around 4.45 pm on Thursday evening. Others followed suit, all of them headed towards the Prime Minister’s Residence at 7, Race Course Road.
After Team Anna’s announcement to throng the PM’s residence, authorities had shut down the Race Course, Jorbagh, Udyog Bhawan and Khan Market metro stations from 3 pm onwards and closed all roads leading to 7, RCR to prevent people from reaching the spot, but in vain.
Once near it, Bhardwaj and Archana jumped the central verge to reach the PM’s residence. Others joined in and started slogans demanding Lokpal bill. Police quickly stopped them from going further towards the gate. Section 144 — which bans gathering of five or more people — is in force around the PM’s residence generally when Parliament is in session.
“Hamari awaaz ko sunana hoga (you must listen to what we are saying),” shouted Bhardwaj. Others joined them ‘Pass karo pass karo, Lokpal bill pass karo (Pass the Lokpal bill). The protestors were taken away.
Despite shut down metro stations and closed roads leading to the PM’s house, supporters had reached the venue. Dinesh Kumar — who had similarly protested on Wednesday at the same place — said, “I am waiting for the right time. More people are coming in.”
Around 5.35 pm, he was joined by Archana and Bhardwaj again along with others. All of them sprang to the footpath in front of the PM’s residence in a repeat act of demonstration, this time more fervent.
Female constables came in only around 5.40 pm. Protestors were rounded off and sent away to a police station. Starting at 3.30 pm, around 300 protestors were picked up in batches and detained at Chanakyapuri and Tughlak road police stations.
Another 200-300 people were stopped by police on the two sides leading to the 7 RCR, one from the round about near Tughlak road police station and the other from Samrat Hotel.
Said a senior police official, “Nobody gives a call to gherao the PM’s residence, in view of security concerns. Due to the protest, we had closed several roads around PM house for the general public.”