Anna Hazare arrested: Protests planned across major cities

New Delhi: As news of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's detention and then arrest spread, supporters in cities across the country began to come out to protest - many to court arrest.  

In Mumbai, 50 people have been detained in the Khar Ghar area of Navi Mumbai and 20 in Matunga.

Protests also broke out in Mr Hazare's hometown in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra as news of his arrest came in. (Read)

In Bangalore, a counter has been set up at the Freedom Park, where people are signing up to be part of the India Against Corruption movement of which Mr Hazare is a leading light.

87,000 of 100,000 IT employees have signed up to join the movement. Employees will take a break from work for an hour and gather at the Electronic City as a mark of support for the veteran activist.

Supporters have announced that hundreds of students at the Indian Institute of Science will skip lunch to show solidarity with Mr Hazare. There are protests planned in other parts of the city.

As the Gandhian continued his fast in police detention in the national capital, in Chennai - in a strong symbolic gesture of support - Mahatma Gandhi's personal secretary Kalyanam joined an indefinite hunger strike attended by 300 people. Around 30 people have already courted arrest in Mr Hazare's support. 

Meanwhile, people turned out in large numbers in the Salt Lake area in Kolkata in support of the veteran activist. 

In Delhi, at JP Park, where Anna was to sit on fast, protesters have been pouring in ready to court arrest. Delhi Police has imposed Section 144 at several places in the Capital, including central Delhi, JP Park, Rajghat and Dilli Gate. At Rajghat, the police is not allowing people to gather in large numbers. Any large groups are being disbanded, put in buses and taken away to Chhatrasal Stadium in Model Town, north Delhi.

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan said youth from Delhi University would court arrest at 12.30 pm outside the Chhatrasal stadium. And that at 4pm today, protesters would march from the Pragati Maidan metro station to JP Park, where Anna Hazare was to have fasted today. He said wherever the protesters were stopped, they would sit on dharna.

He also announced that on 4 pm on Wednesday, a big march would be organized from India Gate to Parliament House. He appealed to all people to join the march and asked government employees to take mass leave for a day.

Team Anna has asked people to wear black bands and to use social media and SMSes to help gather more people.
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