Team Anna Hazare’s arrests sparked protests across Maharashtra on Tuesday, with people taking to the streets to condemn the action. Other than Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Khopoli in Raigad saw large-scale agitations. Most participants were youngsters.
There were big protests at Vashi’s Shivaji Chowk, where activists set up a stage, began a fast and a signature campaign. “This protest will continue for eight days,” said Sanjay Surve, president of Social Welfare Association of Navi Mumbai who organised the stir. “We will organise a rally from Vashi to Kokan Bhavan in CBD-Belapur. We are going to colleges to ensure maximum participation.”
Rajesh Aggarwal, a Vashi-based businessman, said: “This is the right time to register our protest. It is now or never.” The Nerul police detained 20 people for holding a rally outside the police station without permission. They were released later.
In Pune, hundreds gathered near Bal Gandharva hall; 150 of them were detained and let off by evening. The protestors plan to fast from Wednesday.
Around 300 people from Khopoli participated in a rally, and 50 of them fasted for a day outside the tehsildar’s office in Khalapur. “The morning rally had many seniors and the evening one youngsters,” said Riyaz Khan, volunteer, India Against Corruption.
In Nagpur, the BJP used the opportunity to take on the government and organised a morcha at the busy Variety Square; the police detained 126 protesters in neighbouring Katol city.