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Anna support swells in country

From villages of MP to lawyers in Bihar,people skipped work to support Hazare's cause.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | August 19, 2011 1:25:12 pm

Mumbai’s dabbawalas take a break for Anna

For the first time in their 120-year history,Mumbai’s famous dabbawalas,who deliver tiffins to over two lakh customers daily,took a break today to support social activist Anna Hazare in his fight against corruption.

“We don’t have any demands of our own. We are here for Anna,” a dabbawala told reporters at Azad Maidan. “Anna ji,we will be with you forever,” he said.

“In the last 120 years,we have been on the job,come rain or shine. We never stop work. But we decided to back Hazare’s agitation as it is for a just cause,” said Sopan Mare of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.

The 5,000 dabbawalas moved in a procession from Churchgate to Azad Maidan.

Asked if their customers were inconvenienced,Mare said,“They know we are supporting a just cause.”

Support for Anna’s cause spreads to rural MP

The support for Anna Hazare’s “India Against Corruption” campaign has made deep inroads into the rural hinterland of Madhya Pradesh with people turning out in large numbers to express their solidarity towards the Gandhian’s agitation for a strong Lokpal.

“There is a widespread support for Hazare’s campaign in rural areas which is being witnessed for the first time. People from villages are coming to towns for taking part in protests and marches,” Neemuch District Panchayat Chairman,Ishwar Singh Chouhan told PTI today.

“The best part is that people are coming out of their villages on their own in such large numbers for the first time to participate in protests being organised at smaller

towns like Shujalpur and Kalapipal. There is a positive atmosphere in villages on the issue of Anna’s campaign,” Shajapur District Panchayat Chairman,Leela Devi Parmar’s husband said.

In big villages like Jamner and Raipur,locals have also taken out rallies in support of Anna’s movement,he said adding rural folks are of the opinion that the government

should have listened to the activist’s demands.

In tribal Dindori district,some of the protestors dressed-up like Anna on August 15,to awaken people on the issues raised by him,specially corruption,Dindori District

Panchayat President,Omprakash Dhurve said.

Similar scenes were seen in Damoh district where nearly 200 people staged a protest in support of Anna,Damoh District Panchayat Chairperson,Anita Thakur said.

Today,villagers have organised a protest in support of the campaign at Tendukheda,where a large turnout is expected,she said.

However,Guna District Panchayat Chairman,Sumer Singh Garha said that during his day-long tour in the district he did not notice any support for Anna’s campaign except for a few children taking interest.

Garha said that even after a strong Lokpal comes into existence,corruption is not going to be wiped out from the society.

“There is a need to further improve the present system of governance in the country instead of creating an all new body,” he said.

Pro-Anna marches,protests,dharnas in Jammu

Backing Anna Hazare’s demand for a Jan Lokpal Bill,people here today continued with their marches,protests and dharnas for the fourth consecutive day today.

Led by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) state secretary Manoj Kumar,party activists today sat on a dharna near the city railway station in support of a strong Lokpal Bill.

Chanting pro-Anna slogans,they lashed at the Congress-led UPA government for arresting the Gandhian and demanded that the Prime Minister and Judges should also be brought under the Lokpal.

“We want that accountability should start from the top – Prime Minister. Rules and regulations are equal for the PM and for the common man,” Kumar told reporters.

“PM and Judges should also be made accountable and come under the Lokpal. We back Anna and have started the dharna here in his support,” he said.

Over 500 girl students of GCW Gandhi Nagar observed a strike and took out a peaceful rally shouting pro-Anna slogans today.

Chanting slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Matram’,they expressed happiness over Anna’s release.

The students also urged the government to concede the demand of adoption of Jan Lokpal bill,including PM and Judges in its ambit.

The lecturers of Government Gandhi Memorial Science College also took out a candle light march in their varsity campus this morning to back Anna’s movement on corruption and black-money and strong Lokpal Bill.

Led by General Secretary Arun Kandroo,a large number of activists of All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) today held a pro-Anna demonstration at Bagwati area of the city.

They also urged the people to come out in support of Hazare.

“Demand of Hazare is every common man’s wish. A strong Lokpal will ensure accountability from the top. Scams after scams have shaken faith of common people in government and rulers,” Kandroo told reporters here.

“There should be Jan Lokpal and not government formulated weak Lokpal,which has loose ends to save people from punishment,” he said.

Support for Hazare spread in Rajasthan

Support to Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption continued to spread in parts of Rajasthan with government employees across the state deciding to join the peaceful agitation today.

The state employees will go for a half-day mass leave after lunch in support of the Gandhian.

“We have given a call for half-day mass leave and a candle march will be taken out at Ambedkar circle in the evening. We as citizens are with Anna. We want to give a

message that we are not corrupt and we are also against corruption,” Mahendra Chaudhary,a representative of state employees federation said.

Traders also staged a dharna at Badi Chaupad in the walled city. Wearing black ribbon in arms,they raised slogans in Hazare’s support.

Several other programmes are also proposed later in the day.

Women hit streets in Ranchi

Three days after anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare stepped out of Delhi’s Tihar Jail

women today hit the streets in Ranchi while several shop-owners spontaneously downed shutters in the Jharkhand capital in support of Gandhian Anna Hazare.

The women,mostly tribals,took out a huge rally under various banners,including Birsa Ulgulan Manch,covering main routes of the city,shouting pro-Anna and anti-corruption slogans.

“It was a spontaneous shutdown by business establishment not only in the city but also in the rural areas of Ranchi district like Ratu and Mandar,” said Sanjay Seth,the convenor of India Against Corruption,Jharkhand Chapter/Jharkhand Civil Society.

Most shops in the city were closed for two hours following the shutdown call by the ‘India Against Corruption’ forum,he said.

“The response sends out a message to the Centre that it should not delay in accepting Anna Hazare’s demand for the Jan Lokpal Bill covering prime minister and higher judiciary,” he added.

He said,“The Congress’ projection of Rahul Gandhi as the youth icon belied its claim after lakhs of youth across the country are rallying behind 74-year-old Anna Hazare

against corruption.”

Students of Birsa Institute of Technology,Meshra,will organize an event ‘Support to Anna Hazare’ at 5 pm through street plays,Arun Kumar Goutam,one of the organizers of the event said here.

The advocates of Dumka and Jamtara districts today boycotted courts and took out processions in support of Hazare at their respective places.

Shutdown in Vadodara to support Hazare’s campaign

A call for a bandh in the city in support of social activist Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption today was well received.

Most of the shops and business establishments in Vadodara remaining closed for the day.

About 80 trading and business bodies,NGOS,social activists,advocates and members belonging to academic communities and medical fraternity have supported the call for bandh,claimed Paresh Shah,an activist.

The bandh call was given by the city based India Against Corruption (IAC),a body formed by several activists,in support of Hazare’s campaign against corruption and also to protest the non-appointment of a Lokayukta by the Gujarat government,IAC conveners Dilip Mehta and Hitesh Rawal said.

Meanwhile,the Baroda Bar Association (BBA) has given a call to keep the courts closed for an indefinite period in support of Hazare’s cause,BBA president Ranjit Rathod.

Protests enter fourth day in Karnataka

The Anna Hazare protest wave continued to sweep the city for the fourth day as Freedom Park once again became the epicentre of the people’s strength.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde,a member of the joint committee on drafting the Lokpal bill,participated in the protest as protesters,mostly students,shouted slogans “Anna Hazare Zindabad” and “Bharat Maata Ki Jai”.

From early morning,people from all walks of life started to pour in at Freedom Park and many of them eagerly awaited Hazare’s release from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Addressing protesters,Hegde said: “I think Lokpal and Lokayukta institutions can help root out corruption.”

He also said corruption was born along with the birth of civilisation. “If we can check this,it will benefit not only people,but also the country,” he said.

Taking a swipe at politicians,Hegde flayed them for accepting bribes unhesitatingly and yet initiated probe into the funding of those participating in Hazare’s campaign.

Some protesters who were on dharna since last night began their day by performing yoga and others enjoyed their sleep.

Venting out their anger against UPA government for arresting Hazare,several students said the government tried to hijack the movement by putting conditions on “civil society’s indefinite fast”. “We are tired of corruption. We feel Jan Lokpal is the only solution…,” they said.

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