Groundswell of support for Anna visible in Uttar Pradesh (Lead)

August 16th, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 16 (IANS) Lawyers stayed away from courts and students played truant to take part in rallies in all major cities of Uttar Pradesh Tuesday as support for activist Anna Hazare and outrage over his detention swelled.

Cities - including Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Agra, Sitapur, Firozabad, Mirzapur, Jhansi and Ballia - witnessed sit-ins and processions of people from all age groups.

Shouting anti-graft slogans, people condemned the Delhi Police action against Hazare, who was detained Tuesday morning before he was to begin his planned fast against the government version of the Lokpal bill.

Demanding the immediate release of Hazare, students of the Allahabad University (AU) and colleges in Kanpur took out processions, during which they burnt effigies symbolising the central government.

In Ballia , Allahabad and Bulandshahr, especially, courthouses looked deserted.

Many people were detained in Allahabad, Sultanpur and other parts of Uttar Pradesh as they blockaded roads during protests against Hazare’s detention.

In Lucknow, people from various walks of carried out protests in Hazratganj, Gomti Nagar, Aliganj and Vikas Nagar.

“It is undemocratic,” housewife Mita Singh told reporters during a demonstration. “It is all taking place at the behest of the central government, which is trying to gag every voice being raised against corruption.”

Holding the tricolour aloft, Hazare’s supporters also played patriotic songs.

“In a democracy like ours, one has the right to protest in a peaceful manner,” retired professor P.K. Garg told reporters in Hazratganj. “By detaining Hazare and others supporting him, the government is depriving them of their constitutional rights.”

Members of India Against Corruption (IAC), which has been backing Hazare, is staging a sit-in at the Jhulelal Park here. Five IAC members in Lucknow have decided to observe an indefinite fast in support of Hazare from Tuesday, IAC co-ordinator R.K. Agarwal said.

Residents of various localities will also be taking out candle marches.

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