Support swells for Anna on weekend

going strong: Supporters of the anti-corruption campaign at the Freedom Park. dh Photo

While the previous four days saw large number of college students, Saturday saw many turning out with their families, including their children. Several schoolchildren also turned up at the protest.

Former Lokayukta and member of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, N Santosh Hegde, also sat on a dharna to support the Hazare movement.

“The turnout on Saturday has been the highest so far”, said one volunteer from the India Against Corruption group. “We estimate at least 5,000 people were present at the venue at any given time, while the total number of people present on the day was at least 20,000,” he added.

Besides protest marches and a series of talks by various speakers, the crowd also began singing patriotic songs and raised slogans.

Arun B, a software engineer, was in tow with his wife and three-year-old son, who was dressed as Anna Hazare. “I felt that all our family members should express support to Anna Hazare. What he is doing is truly remarkable,” he said.

However, the bulk of the crowd continued to be college students –– many who have been there for more than four days. Anu George, student, said that she has not been attending classes since Wednesday.

“This is much more important than any class that I can attend. We are getting to be part of a historic movement, and I will not give up on that”, she said.  

Traders from SP Road also expressed their support for the Hazare movement by downing their shutters for some time, and also took out a march to the nearby Town Hall. A section of lawyers also took part in the protest by wearing “Anna topi” and holding banners at the City Civil Court.

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