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Citizens bunk work to join protest

mumbai Updated: Aug 19, 2011 01:20 IST
Prajakta Chavan
Prajakta Chavan
Hindustan Times
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On Day 3 of agitations in support of Anna Hazare's campaign for a strong Lokpal bill, Azad Maidan continued to be the hub for rallies and morchas in the city.

The number of participants on Thursday was less than what it was over the last two days, which, the organisers put down to heavy rain and an agitation by BEST employees, which crippled bus services.

But like previous days, Thursday too saw a mix-bag of protesters. Office-goers, businessmen and professionals, who are otherwise too busy for anything other than work, took time off to lend force to the agitation.

For the past three days, Dr Rohit Verma, a radiologist in the ESIC Hospital at Andheri, has been traveling from Andheri to CST station to participate in the agitation. "The independence we have received is superficial. We still follow British thoughts and principles. As result, the poor are getting poorer while the rich get richer. This has to change and we see this movement as hope," he said.

HR professional Abhishek Shanbhag took a three-day leave from work to participate in the protest. "I sincerely believe in this cause. The [Jan Lokpal] bill is very strong, which is why the government is refusing to clear it. But we have to keep fighting and ensure it is passed," he said.

Rallies were also held across the city at places like Parel, Vasai, Mulund, Churchgate, Santacruz and Chembur.

Several citizens saw a link between corruption and inflation and used the opportunity to vent anger against price hike. "It is a vicious circle; because of corruption, we are seeing a price hike almost every week," said Rupa Komadia, a 50-year-old homemaker from Colaba.