Registrations for 'jail bharo' or voluntarily courting arrest, in support of Anna Hazare's agitation against the lokpal bill, crossed the one-lakh mark on Monday.
Team Anna claimed that as of Monday the website of India Against Corruption (IAC) had received over 1.30 lakh registrations, while about 8,000 people had registered through SMS.
Core Team Anna members, including Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia, supervised the preparations. "Our request to all participants is to bring no baggage to the ground, due to security reasons," announced Bedi.
Other IAC members were busy securing some last-minute permissions. "Some crucial permissions, such as to cook at the venue and to erect a stage, were pending, but we got them now," said IAC volunteer Ruben Mascarenhas.
The three-day public agitation at the MMRDA ground is being organised by volunteers of Nagrik Samitis formed by IAC Mumbai.
Team Anna also announced agitation from December 30 onwards outside the houses of MPs. "Volunteers should agitate outside those MPs' houses who have failed to vote for a strong lokpal. If police come to arrest them, they should court arrest peacefully," said volunteer Mayank Gandhi.
Meanwhile, Mumbai police was busy pulling resources in view of the anticipated large turnout at the ground. "Our first priority is to ensure security during the fast programme. We are still to give a serious thought about the jail bharo call," said joint commissioner of police, law and order, Rajnish Seth.
Sources said, over a dozen lock-ups in the suburbs were emptied for Friday, however, these lock-ups can accommodate only a few hundreds. And police will not have enough vehicles to take them to the detention centres. "In that case, we have a two pronged strategy," sources said. "One is to arrest their leaders and disperse the crowd. Second, is to round-up the protestors by putting up barricades."
'I am ready to go to jail'
Deepchand Buswala, 52, Mason
Civic officials do not supply us with the basic necessities without asking for commission.
My son did not get admission in a Bandra college because I could not pay donation. Annaji gives us a lot of hope for a better future.
I am willing to go to any extent to be part of this movement. I am ready to even go to jail. Unless the government is compelled, an effective anti-corruption law will never become a reality.
Pawan Mulani, 20, college student
We need a monster to destroy a monster. If they think this is 'mobocracy', then what do we see in the rallies of politicians?
The government is trying to sabotage the people's movement rather than working on a strong lokpal bill. Recently, I had to pay a bribe to lodge an FIR against a bus driver after he hit my car. This is petty corruption, but scams and misuse of public funds have a long-term impact on the growth and welfare of our country.