Supporters arrested outside PM home

Team Anna members staged a demonstration before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 7, Race Course Road residence on Saturday evening to protest against the coal block allocations made when he held the coal portfolio and reiterated their demand for a strong Lokpal Bill.

They were soon detained by the police. A total of 93 anti-graft activists, including seven women, equipped with placards and banners, were spotted sloganeering outside the prime minister’s residence.

Apparently, security personnel at the prime minister’s house were taken aback by the sudden spurt of protest. Local police took some time to reach the spot.

A few protesters even tried to breach the gate of Singh’s residence. As a mark of protest, the protesters put pieces of coal on the boundary walls of the house. They also threw coal at the prime minister’s house.

The security personnel, however, succeeded in averting any untoward situation and formed a human chain to prevent the protesters from advancing.

Some of the protesters even lay down on the road, blocking traffic for some time. They were soon dispersed by the police. It took around 15 minutes to contain the crowd and put them in the police vans. “We have detained all the protestors, including seven women. They are in police station,” said Station House officer of Chanakyapuri Police Station, Satish Chander. He added that they would be released soon.

Meanwhile, India Against Corruption (IAC) spokesperson Aswathi Muralitharan said: “We got some reports that a few supporters went to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's house to protest against [his] involvement in coal block allocation. We were unaware that supporters were heading towards Manmohan Singh's house.” She said the protest was not an IAC initiative and “the supporters went on their own to show their anger against the system.”

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