New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare was arrested by the Delhi Police ahead of his proposed fast against corruption on Tuesday. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan and Manish Sisodia have also been put under preventive arrest by the Delhi police.
Hazare has been arrested under Section 107/51. He will now have to appear before a magistrate to get bail. Hazare and his supporters were taken into custody before he was to proceed to the venue of his fast in JP Park where prohibitory orders are in place.
Anna's arrest provokes countrywide protests
Support for Team Anna on the ground is growing as Hazare's supporters courted arrest throughout the country after the activist called for mass arrests. Hazare supporter Prashant Bhushan claimed that over 2500 people have been arrested all over India.
In Mumbai, 40 India against corruption supporters were detained at Nerul. Pro-Anna supporters were also detained from Dadar and Matunga areas of the maximum city. In Surat's Varachcha area, Anna supporters shut down the diamond market while in Godhra there was a transport strike. In Chandigarh, some supporters surrounded Kapil Sibal's residence. In Delhi, supporters were seen shouting slogans outusde the Rajouri Garden PS.
Earlier, he was taken to the General Officers Mess in Civil Lines area of New Delhi and Delhi Police have called a magistrate to the mess to complete necessary formalities. The magistrate will decide whether Hazare and his supporters will be sent to judicial custody or given bail. Hazare was later taken to Rajouri Garden police station.
The Gandhian was earlier detained from Mayur Vihar before he was to proceed to the venue of his fast in JP Park where prohibitory orders are in place.
Around 500 supporters were with Anna at the time of his detention. Chanting 'Bharat Mata ki jai' and 'Vande Matram,' supporters created hurdles in the way of the police which were trying to detain him.
Detention unconstitutional: Kiran Bedi
"This is exactly what happened during emergency. Emergency has revisited the country. This detention is unconstitutional and undemocratic," said Bedi.
"When our freedom is restricted, it is as good as being arrested," Kiran Bedi said as she courted arrest on Tuesday.
"When Anna asked what are the charges against us, the police said that they have been instructed to do so," added Kiran Bedi.
There will be widespread protests: Prashant Bhushan
"There will be massive protests across the country including Delhi. The government will not be able to handle the storm now," said Bhushan.
Anna Hazare said on Monday that he will go ahead with his fast even if he is arrested.
"I request the people of the country to go to jail. Going to jail for the betterment of the country is good," said Anna Hazare on Monday.
"Our Prime minister said that Lokpal Bill will be sent to Parliament and we will have to abide by whatever Parliament decides. We have full confidence in Parliament but bring the right bill before Parliament," said Anna Hazare on Monday.
Earlier, people thronged Anna Hazare's residence to pledge their support for his protest demanding a strong Lokpal, even as police deployed a large number of personnel to ensure law and order in the city.
Around 500 police personnel have been deployed from early morning itself after the city police imposed Section 144 around the venue of the fast.
A group of people gathered outside Hazare's apartment, shouting slogans in favour of the Gandhian.
Security personnel, including some in plain clothes and some from the special branch, were deployed around the apartment premise.
Earlier, senior police officials, including DCP (Crime) Ashok Chand, met with Hazare on Tuesday morning in a bid to convince him to not go ahead with his planned protest defying prohibitory orders.
However, Hazare turn down the request following which he was detained.
"We have detained him as he did not budge from his position of defying prohibitory orders," police official said.