Thousands gather at Delhi’s Chhatrasal stadium in Anna’s support

August 16th, 2011 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Unmindful of the continuous rain, thousands of supporters of Gandhian Anna Hazare gathered at the Chhatrasal stadium in north Delhi Tuesday soon after he was detained. While some had come to voice their support to Hazare, others were dropped off there after being detained by the police.

Hazare was detained by the police Tuesday, soon after leaving his residence in east Delhi with his associate, Arvind Kejriwal. He was about to set out to launch his hunger strike for a strong anti-corruption Lokpal bill. He was later arrested and sent to Tihar Jail for seven days.

As news of his arrest spread, hundreds of people held sporadic protests across the city, shouting anti-government slogans and singing praises for Hazare.

At Chhatrasal stadium where nearly 5,000 people were believed to have been gathered, it was like a sea of humanity, with supporters doning Nehru caps and holding aloft the tricolour. Some even had the flag painted on their faces.

“I have come from Patna and reached JP Park early in the morning to support Anna Hazare. There I along with others were detained by the police and brought here,” said Swati Kumari, a young company executive.

Shravan Kumar, who had come from Uttar Pradesh for the protest, asked: “There were no prohibitory orders outside Anna’s house (in east Delhi) then why was he detained from there?”

“The government and the police has no right to stop a person from peacefully protesting. It’s a violation of our rights,” he added.

More than a thousand people were detained from various parts of the capital.

“There was talk that Anna may have been brought to Chhatrasal, so we have come here to let him know that we are here to support him. It’s not just his fight - it’s our fight,” said Sanjeev Misra, a Delhi University student.

Other members of Team Anna - including former top police officer Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan - were also detained.

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