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Anna Withstood 90 Minutes of Persuasion By Delhi Police Official

PTI 16 Aug 2011, 13:45:55 IST

New Delhi, Aug 16 : Ninety-minutes of persuasion by a senior police official did not move Anna Hazare an inch as he stood firm on his plans to defy prohibitory orders, leading to his charged-up supporters trying to prevent his detention.

Chants of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' rented the air as tri-colour waving supporters of Hazare almost made a human wall around the vehicle carrying the Gandhian to a police facility.

As it struck 0730 hours in the clock, police informed the Gandhian that they were taking him into custody as their efforts to convince him failed and the khadi-clad Gandhian came out of the flat in east Delhi's Mayur Vihar after instructing his aides to release his pre-recorded message.

A little after six am, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Chand drove into the apartments to convince Hazare not to go ahead with fast, a job which he could not fulfil as the Gandhian remained adamant.

The crowd outside the apartment, which was initially just a bunch of locals, grew while police reinforced themselves with a larger contingent arriving at the scene.

A detention seemed imminent as at around 7:15 am, ten policemen in plain clothes rushed inside the apartment while supporters waving tricolour and chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' stationed themselves outside the gate.

The news of detention soon spread and as Hazare came out in a vehicle accompanied by police, slogans rented the air while tricolour fluttered in air. His supporters blocked the road preventing the vehicle police to move ahead.

Policemen had their fair share of trouble as hundreds of Hazare supporters almost made a human wall in front of the vehicle. It took almost 45 minutes for the police to cross a distance of two kilometres and speed away to Civil Lines where Hazare was to be kept.

However, some apartment residents were not so happy with the scene outside where a bout of nationalism and patriotism was on display.

A woman inmate of a flat was seen telling a security guard against allowing strangers inside the apartment. "They are taking us to ransom. I saw some 15 strangers inside the compound. Who knows they are genuine people," she said.

Simultaneously at Jai Prakash Narain Park where Hazare was to fast, his supporters gathered in small numbers and courted arrest. Among them was a man dressed like Mahatma Gandhi. PTI