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Atmosphere is electric at Ramlila maidan

Last updated on: August 19, 2011 13:23 IST

Atmosphere is electric at Ramlila maidan

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Prasanna D Zore

Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports on the hectic activity at the Ramlila maidan in New Delhi where anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's mammoth protest is going on.

More than 6,000 people had gathered at the Ramlila maidan in New Delhi till the filing of this report.

Separate entrances have been assigned from people as well as the Press. Slogans like Anna Hazare aage badho hum tumhare saath hai (Anna Hazare, move forward, we are with you) are being sung at the venue every two minutes acompanied by chants of Bharat mata ki jai and vande mataram.

Former IPS officer-turned-activist Kiran Bedi kept egging the crowd to sing patriotic songs and remain cautious of anti-social elements who might want to disrupt the proceedings.

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Image: Kiran Bedi waves the tricolour at Ramlila maidan
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Meanwhile, officials of the NGO India Against Corruption are all praise for the Bharatiya Janata Party-controlled Municipal Corporation of Delhi for clearing the Ramlila maidan.

Young IAC office bearers have been unable to provide exact details of the money being spent for making arrangements or who was financing the protest.

Text messages to Prashant Bhushan and other members of IAC did not elicit any response about the same.


Image: IAC volunteers trying to drain out water

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Atmosphere is electric at Ramlila maidan

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Crowds have been getting impatient, as the morning rains have given way to bright sunlight.

Announcements are being made to update the crowd about the movements of Anna, who is being followed by a 2 km-long line of people.

The Ramlila ground has been split into four parts.

The main dais where Anna Hazare will sit for the fast has been barricaded and a couple of ambulances manned by police personnel are in a state of readiness to handle any eventuality, says a police officer on duty.


Image: A protestor at the venue

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College students and school kids, who were invited on stage by Bedi, all had just one demand -- Bring Anna's Lokpal.

Scores of people, who have come to the venue, have been fasting since August 16 to support Anna's campaign for a strong Lokpal bill.


Image: Kiran Bedi with a school kid on stage

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Even though 25 per cent of the ground is being covered with waterproof tents, the rest of the ground is still covered with puddles of water.

More than six heavy earthmovers have been being pressed into service to level the field, spoiled by the Friday morning showers.

The atmosphere is completely electric. And there are just about 1,000 cops to handle the crowd.


Image: A policeman stands guard as supporters await Anna's arrival at the venue

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