100 arrested in Mumbai for protesting Anna’s detention (Lead)

August 16th, 2011 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) Around 100 people were arrested Tuesday for protesting the detention of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, but it did not deter supporters from congregating in hordes in and around Mumbai, amid comments from high-profile activists.

“Thousands are protesting peacefully by fasting and holding placards to record their disapproval of Annaji’s detention,” a volunteer of India Against Corruption (IAC) told IANS. “We are also requesting support to strike work tomorrow (Wednesday).”

Social activist Medha Patkar, who has sustained a campaign against a dam on Narmada river for years, described Hazare’s detention as blatantly unconstitutional. “We the people are the government,” she told a gathering at the Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.

“Our youth volunteers have received exemplary response to the signature campaign undertaken at the Churchgate local railway station in south Mumbai,” another IAC volunteer said.

Several locations saw car and bike rallies amid a disturbance to economic life. Most shopkeepers in Lokhandwala area of Andheri (north-western suburb of Mumbai) downed shutters to support Hazare’s call for a strong Lokpal bill.

Sudhir Sawant, a retired brigadier turned peace activist, condemned Hazare’s detention as an attack on democracy. “Even if some have reservations, the issue of corruption is a threat to humanity,” he said. “Let us all fight to oppose the coercive action.”

The 2,000 residents of Ralegan-Siddhi, which Hazare has turned into a model of environmental consciousness, observed a bandh or closure Tuesday. People in large numbers sought to court arrest. Others raised slogans at the state transport depot.

Similar protests against his detention were held in Pune too.

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