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MUST SEE: Hazare to fast at this mud pit?

Last updated on: August 18, 2011 15:47 IST

Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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Prasanna D Zore in New Delhi

Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore and photographer Sanjay Sawant reach Ramlila Ground in Delhi to take stock of the preparedness ahead of Anna Hazare's indefinite fast against corruption at this historic venue.

A motley group of protesters, no more than hundred, await outside the Ramlila Ground in Delhi to make an entry once the gate opens.

The Municipal Commission of Delhi, entrusted with the job of levelling the ground, has pressed more than 200 workers and six dumpers to refill the surface.

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Image: Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast on Thursday
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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Earlier on Thursday morning, MCD Chairman Yoginder Chandolia had assured India Against Corruption members that they will clear at least 50 per cent of the ground.

At about 1.40 pm, it seems unlikely that the MCD will fulfill its assurances.


Image: MCD workers at the site of Anna Hazare's fast at Ramlila Ground
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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A group of protesters, mostly students from various colleges of Delhi University, are haggling with police officials to let them in.

The policemen, however, are requesting them to move to Hanuman Vatika, a small temple adjacent to the ground.


Image: Protestors, mostly consisting of students, haggle with policemen at the entry gate of Ramlila Ground on Thursday
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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Outside the ground smart street vendors have lined the footpath and are doing brisk business.

Manish Sahu, one such vendor selling papads, expects to earn a good sum at the end of the day. He sells his ware for Rs 3 a piece.


Image: Manish Sahu hopes to make it big during Hazare's fast in New Delhi
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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The police manning the main gate are repeatedly announcing that the ground is not yet ready and asking the protesters not to disturb them at work.


Image: India Against Corruption volunteers at work at the Ramlila Ground
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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A few people from adjoining Ghaziabad are staging a fast since the last three days.

Rakesh Jain, who calls himself a Gandhian but has as many as 12 police cases registered against him, including rape, says that he has been fasting at the India Gate since August 16.


Image: 'Gandhian' Rakesh Jain protests at the fast site on Thursday
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Ramlila Ground far from ready for Anna's fast

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Meanwhile, the police presence could be felt increasing near the main gate of the Ramlila Ground as people continue to throng the venue.


Image: MCD employees at work at the Ramlila Ground on Thursday
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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