India Against Corruption volunteers will fan out across the city’s railway stations today to encourage office- goers to take a day off and support Anna and the cause of the Jan Lokpal Bill instead
ANNA Hazare’s supporters in the city are all set to give you what some would term the perfect excuse to skip going to work today.
Several teams of India Against Corruption ( IAC), Team Anna’s organisation which is working for the passage of a comprehensive Lokpal Bill, will fan out across railway stations and encourage office goers to bunk work for a day to show solidarity with the cause.
Mayank Gandhi, IAC’s Mumbai coordinator, said, “ We are going ahead with our plan of standing outside railway stations and convincing people to show solidarity with the cause by not attending offices and supporting the protest instead.” Gandhi said that after talking to people at the stations, volunteers will walk towards Azad Maidan to protest there and even court arrest if need be. Asked about the number of people participating in the protest, he said the movement was gaining traction by the hour and it would be difficult to put a number.
“ There were a total of 30 events that we had planned in the city on Monday. In my area itself, however, I saw more than four protests being carried out, which indicates that people who are not directly associated with the IAC are also expressing their displeasure with the current state of affairs. Thus, even I can’t put a figure to the number of people who will be gathering,” said Gandhi. More than 75,000 people from the city have registered as volunteers with the IAC. “ Apart from the common public, taxi, trade and retailer unions and many others have assured us of their support.
They will shut work on August 16 to support us. We are clear on one thing, however — no one is going to force anybody to participate in the protest,” said Naresh Thakur, youth coordinator for IAC. Gandhi, however, said that all plans would be dropped and Anna supporters would simply court arrest if Anna is arrested in Delhi today.
“ If Anna is arrested, we won’t ask for people’s support as planned. We will directly march to Azad Maidan and court arrest.” Police preparation Deputy Commissioner of Police Nisar Tamboli said, “ We have not received any written letter seeking permission to hold protests anywhere in the city — including at Azad Maidan.
any illegal protest is carried out, the protestors will be arrested.” A member from IAC’s media cell, however, told MiD DAY that they have submitted written request for permission for the Azad Maidan protest the Azad Maidan police station. “ We haven’t, however, received permission for it yet,” he said.