Gates of human divide at Ramlila ground

August 22nd, 2011 - 8:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Segregation of humanity begins at the very gates of Ramlila Maidan — the site of Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption. Five gates divide supporters into three classes - the common man, media and the VIPs.

Two general entrances on either end of the ground allow the general public to enter the venue. The gates, with temporary bamboo structures and police pickets, ensure that visitors stand in serpentine queues to enter the sprawling ground.

“There is rage among the masses. It could turn violent any time if we do not control the surging numbers at the entrances,” a policeman manning the gate for the general public told IANS.

By 12 noon Monday, groups of protesters with placards and tricolours were thronging at the gates in noisy processions, threatening to break in through the fragile bamboo barriers.

Nearly 100 yards ahead, two entry points with metal detectors were accessible to the media and officials. A team of security men frisked almost everyone who entered through these gates.

Nearly 20 OB (outdoor broadcasting) vans of television channels have been parked round the clock at the gates since the day Hazare’s fast started last week.

A VIP entrance, completely out of bounds for media and civilians, allows the high-profile crusaders access the podium. It is cordoned by a tight security ring.

Requests to meet members of Team Anna are met with a gruff rebuff or “appointment at a later date”.

“Not that we mind. But we wish it was easy to interact with the leaders,” a student of IP University, who wanted to meet Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, told IANS.

Leaders have always been a breed apart, she lamented at the VIP gate.

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