Across city, rallies continue
Thousands of Mumbaiites continued to throng Azad Maidan on Wednesday to show their support for Anna Hazare and the anti-corruption movement.mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2011 01:26 IST
Thousands of Mumbaiites continued to throng Azad Maidan on Wednesday to show their support for Anna Hazare and the anti-corruption movement. Various citizens’ groups, trade and professional associations, college students and working professionals all joined in the stir.
The police said the turnout was lesser than Tuesday, but organisers said the number of protesters have gone up from 25,000 to 40,000 on Wednesday.
The police made no arrests or detentions, unlike on Tuesday when 2,277 protesters were detained. There was no threat to the law-and-order situation and the crowds were non-violent, the police said, explaining why they didn’t detain people.
“We are amazed by the kind of response the movement is getting. The crowds are getting bigger,” said Piyush Bhatia, volunteer, India Against Corruption (IAC), Mumbai, contradicting the police. He said the number of protesters was around 40,000 from 25,000 the previous day.
“It’s a peaceful protest so we feel safe to be part of it. I have come here to be a part of it,” said Alisha Parikh, 22, a travel agency employee who was at Azad Maidan.
The day also saw a large number of rallies at different parts of the city, with close to 10,000 people turning up for the Juhu mashal (torch) rally. Shopkeepers on the route of the Juhu rally downed their shutters to show their support. Seema Bhat, 40, who missed taking her insulin injection for the rally, said it was important to make a point to the authorities. “It is the people who have to bear the brunt of corruption,” she said.
Rallies also took place at Bandra, Goregaon, Kherwadi, Nerul, Malad and Bhayander. “People are joining rallies on their own, even those who have never participated in such movements are shouting slogans,” said Mayank Gandhi, volunteer, IAC.
Many Mumbaiites who turned up on the first day extended their leave and returned “All of us feel India should be corruption-free, but there’s hardly any initiative in that direction. Now, when Anna has taken the initiative, I want to support the cause,” said Tanaji Jadhav, an operation theatre assistant who has been on leave for two days.
Officebearers of various associations and unions led their rallies to Azad Maidan. “Everyone connected to diamond trade participated in the rally from Opera House to Azad Maidan,” said Sanjay Kothari, vice-chairman of the Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council. Groups such as the Kutch Yuva Sangh, motor accident claims tribunal bar association, taxi drivers and many others turned up at Azad Maidan.