IMAGES: India ups the tempo of protests for Anna
Ever since veteran social activist Anna Hazare has been lodged in Tihar on Tuesday, India has been on the boil, with country witnessing widespread protests. Rediff.com presents comprehensive reports of nation-wide protests on Day 2 of Anna's fast.
In Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu and scores of his party workers were taken into custody as they staged a protest in front of the Ramgopalpet police station in Hyderabad on Wednesday afternoon against the arrest of Gandhian Anna Hazare in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Police prevented the former chief minister and his partymen from taking out a rally to the Ambedkar statue on Tank
Bund prompting Chandrababu and others to sit on a dharna in front of the police station.
They were later taken to nearby Mahankali police station.
With inputs from PTI
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Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare shout anti-government slogans during a protest rally against corruption in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
'Anna's arrest is undemocratic'
Terming Hazare's arrest as undemocratic, the TDP chief demanded that the Centre immediately permit the former to go ahead with his planned protest, seeking a stronger Jan Lokpal, without any restrictions.
Chandrababu reiterated his party's demand that the prime minister too be brought under the Jan Lokpal's purview. He vowed to continue the fight against corruption till a stronger and effective Jan Lokpal law was put in place.
For the second consecutive day, TDP workers across Andhra Pradesh took to the streets protesting Hazare's illegal arrest and promising to continue their fight against corruption.
Image: TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu in a dharna outside a police station in Hyderabad on Wednesday
Overwhelming support for Anna in UP on Day 2
The number of Anna Hazare supporters swelled manifold on Wednesday all across Uttar Pradesh as employees of government offices, banks and other public undertakings as well as lawyers chose to suspend work in their offices to join roadside demonstrations in support of the activist, who has created history of sorts.
While reports of people taking to streets to express solidarity with Anna kept pouring in from different cities across UP, in state capital Lucknow, the support remained overwhelming from all quarters.
A series of meetings were held outside the local offices of LIC, banks, railways with men and women raising pro-Anna slogans.
They lambasted the central government for arresting Anna and hailed the Gandhian for compelling the Manmohan Singh government to eventually bow down before the will of the masses.
Image: A supporter of Hazare protests in Chandigarh on Wednesday
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters
'Govt won't get away with their arrogance'
"It is shocking that those who run this country failed to even asses the mass support that Anna's movement was bound to draw; that clearly reflects the bankruptcy of their mind that apparently led them to believe they would get away with their arrogance," observed Dr Mohan Pandey, a Lucknow University teacher who had organised a demonstration in Anna's support on the university campus.
Similar demonstrations were staged in certain local colleges, while students turned out in large numbers at the Jhule Lal Park along the Gomati river banks where a core team of India Against Corruption was sitting on an indefinite fast to express solidarity with the agitating activist who has become symbolic with the new war against corruption.
According to local IAC convenor R K Agrawal, "People have been coming in small and large groups to express their solidarity with the Anna movement in their own ways."
He said, "While umpteen number of groups took out candlelight processions on Tuesday night in Luclnow, reports reaching from different parts of the state said that similar candle light marches were to follow on Wednesday evening too."
Image: Hazare supporters in Mumbai organise an 'anti-corruption Dahi Handi' on Wednesday
Photographs: Sahil Salve
Protests in Assam swell to back Anna
Influential All Assam Students Union is organising a torch-light procession all over Assam in support of Gandhian Anna Hazare's tirade against corruption in the country as well as demanding a Jan Lokpal Act to tackle corruption.
The AASU leaders and activists and activists of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity continued with protest demonstrations all over Assam for the second consecutive day on Wednesday in protest against 'undemocratic and repressive' ways adopted by the UPA government to gag the raging democratic movement against corruption led by Anna Hazare.
A large number of leading citizens in Guwahati along with top AASU leaders on Wednesday joined the hunger-strike organised by the Assam chapter of India Against Corruption in the heart of Guwahati.
Image: All Assam Students Union organise a protest dharna in Guwahati on Wednesday
'Northeast has been the victim of Centre's repressive policies'
Students of various educational institutions including at least 20 students from the IIT, Guwahati also participated in the hunger strike in Guwahati on Wednesday.
The AASU and the North East Students Organisation had earlier extended their support to the countrywide movement launched by Anna Hazare against corruption.
The AASU on Wednesday stated that the people of the Northeast had been experiencing the repressive methods of government of India to gag democratic protests in the region for years, the same attitude was being shown by the Centre towards peaceful protests against corruption in the 'mainland India'.
The AASU, therefore, extended support to the people of the rest of the country in their protest against corruption and demand for a Jan Lokpal Bill with 'sufficient teeth'.
Image: More support for Hazare's cause in Guwahati on Wednesday
India unites against corruption
Protests were held in Mumbai as supporters of the Gandhian thronged the Azad Maidan in the southern part of the city, protesting the "undemocratic" manner in which the 73-year-old was taken into custody.
Thousands of students in Karnataka skipped classes as they thronged Freedom Park in Bangalore at a rally, with former Supreme Court judge Santosh N Hegde, also joining the dharna.
In Indore, Bharatiya Janata Party workers staged a sit-in waving placards against the police action against Hazare.
Image: An anti-corruption protest rally organized in Mumbai suburb Boriwali on Wednesday
Photographs: Sahil Salve
A mass movement that cannot be overlooked
Lawyers observed a one-day token strike in all the six district courts in Delhi protesting non-inclusion of judiciary in the Lokpal Bill among other issues, interrupting the proceedings in the 2G case.
The Orissa assembly was adjourned twice amid uproar as BJP and ruling Biju Janata Dal MLAs condemned the police action.
In Tamil Nadu, a large number of people observed fast and more than 300 activists assembled at Adyar in Chennai under the banner of "India Against Corruption", an umbrella body of the citizen's movement fighting for a powerful Lokpal Bill.
Image: Hazare supporters throng outside Tihar Jail in New Delhi on Wednesday
Photographs: Sahil Salve
Is the government listening?
Bihar unit of 'India Against Corruption' said in Patna that its members would start a wider contact programme in the state from Thursday.
Unrelenting supporters of Hazare and BJP activists staged demonstrations across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh voicing their support for an effective Lokpal Bill.
Image: Lawyers in Mumbai protest against government's ways to tackle Hazare's proposed indefinite fast
Photographs: Sahil Salve
'It's now or never'
In Jammu, hundreds of demonstrators converged on the Jammu-Pathankote highway at Traro area in the district and took out a protest while in Leh, a day-long dharna and a protest march were held.
Over 300 students of the North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology at Nirjuli in Arunachal Pradesh took out a procession in support of Hazare which culminated near the deputy commissioner's office at Naharlag.
Image: A supporter of Anna Hazare protests in Hyderabad on Wednesday