Andhra continues protests to support Hazare (Lead)

August 17th, 2011 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 17 (IANS) For the second consecutive day Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh witnessed protests across cities and towns in support of Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, lodged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Leaders and workers of opposition parties, students, activists, NGOs and people from different walks of life came out on the streets to show solidarity with the anti-corruption crusade of Hazare, who has refused to come out of jail till his demands are met.

Relay fasts, sit-ins, road blockades, human chains and rallies were organised across the state, demanding that the centre allow Hazare to fast without any conditions.

Carrying flags and holding placards, the protesters marched on the streets, raising anti-government slogans.

Activists of the Hyderabad chapter of India Against Corruption, which backs Hazare, continued their fast for the second day at Indira Park.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) staged demonstrations at several places. For the second straight day, former chief minister and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu staged a sit-in in the state capital.

Naidu and other TDP leaders and workers staged a sit-in at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Secunderabad. “We are also ready to go to jail. The protests will continue till the government agrees to take stronger anti-corruption measures,” he said.

The leader of opposition appealed to youngsters to join the fight against corruption. Demanding that the office of the prime minister be brought under the ambit of Lokpal, he accused the government of trampling the democratic rights of people.

Later, the TDP chief and other party leaders were arrested by the police when they staged a road blockade near Ramgopalpet police station. TDP workers tried to resist Naidu’s arrest but were dispersed by the police. In Nellore, the party took out a motorcycle rally.

Lawyers in the Nampally criminal court here boycotted work and staged a protest. Lawyers also struck work in Ranga Reddy, Karimnagar and Mahabubnagar districts.

At Sri Venkateshwara University in Tirupati, a large number of students staged a sit-in.

“The government is treating Hazare like a terrorist,” said one of the students sitting at the university entrance, holding a huge national flag in his hands.

Students and citizens from different walks of life took out a rally in Anantapur district. Students also formed a human chain in Warangal where the Communist Party of India (CPI) took out rallies.

At a few places, the protesters resorted to road and rail blockade. In Kurnool, they stopped Mumbai-Chennai Express for an hour.

Hazare was jailed Tuesday ahead of his fast for an effective anti-corruption law.

The Delhi Police action led to protests across the country. The government changed its mind later in the evening and released Hazare but he refused to move out of the jail until he was allowed to carry on his hunger-strike without any conditions.

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