Supporters pour in at protest site
Hours ahead of the fast-unto-death by social activist Anna Hazare, supporters of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement had started gathering at the Jai Prakash Narayan Park on Sunday. Nivedita Khandekar reports.delhi Updated: Aug 15, 2011 23:51 IST
Hours ahead of the fast-unto-death by social activist Anna Hazare, supporters of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement had started gathering at the Jai Prakash Narayan Park on Sunday.
As police had barricaded every entrance to the park, the supporters were seen sitting at the entrance and shouting slogans in slogans in praise of Hazare, who has declared to go on fast demanding withdrawal of the weak lokpal bill presented in the Parliament.
While there were more than 20-odd supporters who came from outside Delhi to join the fast-unto-death with Hazare, there were several Delhiites who reached the venue to express their support and help the agitators.
After travelling for more than two days in train, Rajendra Vasant Khanolkar (43) reached the venue only to find the police has declined permission for the venue. "I have not come all the way from Sindhudurg district (Maharashtra) for nothing. If Anna Hazare is put in jail tomorrow, I am ready to go to jail too," Khanolkar, a real estate agent, said.
Rakesh Gupta (31) from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh said, "A common man is always denied his right. I am here to support the cause of the common man and would go to jail with Annaji."
Delhi businessman Manmohan Singh (62) from Karol Bagh said he is going to do Japji Sahib ka paath for Annaji's well being. "However, I am sure, till the time there are 2-3 martyrs, a strong lokpal bill won't be passed."
As the number of those wiling to join the agitation and also that of supporters increased with every hour, the gathering indulged in shouting slogans in support of Hazare.
By late Sunday, Delhi police had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC, which bans assembly of people at the venue and around it, prompting the supporters to leave the place and take shelter somewhere else for the night.