Anna supporters hold Roza Iftar in Lucknow

August 24th, 2011 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Aug 24 (IANS) Activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) Wednesday organized a “roza iftar (ritual breaking of Ramzan fast)” for Muslims thronging the Jhule Lal Park here where 11 Anna followers are on a fast in solidarity with Anna Hazare whose hunger strike for a strong anti-Lokpal bill continued for the ninth day.

The iftar was attended by over 50 Muslims who have been regulars at the protest venue over the past several days. They were led by Maulana Athar Ali Naqvi from Darul Uloom Nadwa-tul-Ulema, widely recognised as among India’s leading Islamic seminaries.

This comes close on the heels of whole-hearted support to the Anna movement by All India Muslim Women Personal Board, whose president Shaista Amber led a delegation of nearly 100 women earlier during the day to offer prayers for Anna Hazare’s health.

Amber was also critical of Delhi Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari, who had sought to term Anna’s campaign as “communal”. Several Muslim supporters of Hazare also flayed Bukhari for his comments.

Those sitting on the indefinite fast included 10 men from various walks of life and the only woman participant was Neelam ‘Insan’, a high court advocate whose father was sitting on fast with Hazare in New Delhi.

Earlier during the day, ghazal singer Mithilesh volunteered to stage a brief programme for the benefit of the fasting team. He also sang a parody in honour of Anna.

Hundreds of Anna protagonists sporting Gandhi caps and IAC badges emboldened with picture of the anti-corruption icon marched down the city streets to the fast venue as well as to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi that has become a common destination for them.

Assembiy of young and old people including school and college going students has become a common sight at the Gandhi statue at the city’s busiest crossroad - Hazratganj - from morning until midnight.

A huge procession of local journalists, raising pro-Anna slogans, was also taken out from the UP Press Club to the Gandhi statue

Reports reaching here from different cities across the state said that Anna supporters were growing by leaps and bounds.

Other than major cities like Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Faizabad, support for Hazare’s stir had caught up in a few smaller towns and even villages, where small groups of students were reported to have taken out short rallies or roadside demonstrations by raising pro-Anna and anti- central government slogans.

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