Pro-Hazare protesters picket ministers’ houses


Chandigarh : Supporters of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare Tuesday picketed the private residences of three union ministers in Chandigarh to protest his arrest in Delhi.

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Police had to rush in reinforcements as Hazare supporters made their way unobtrusively to the family residence of Kapil Sibal, union human resource development (HRD) and telecom minister, in the upscale Sector 5 here. His father and brothers live there.

“Nearly 100 Anna supporters reached there on motorcycles and other vehicles and started protesting,” a Chandigarh Police official told IANS. “The police arrived soon after and they left the place peacefully.”

Some protesters also reached the private residence of union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in Sector 28, eventually forcing the police to put up barricades outside his bungalow.

Security was also stepped up near the private residence of Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni in Sector 9 here Tuesday after a similar attempt to picket outside it.

These attempts apart, protests were also staged at many other sites in the city Tuesday. Slogans were raised near the busy Madhya Marg as protesters tried to march towards Raj Bhavans (Governor houses) of Punjab and Haryana.

Work was affected at the district courts complex here as lawyers held a protest against corruption. Demonstrations elsewhere disrupted life in general in Chandigarh.

The capital was not alone. Reports of protests came in from other towns and cities of Punjab and Haryana.

In Haryana, lawyers stopped work in Sonipat and other towns. Some protesters tried to stop railway traffic in Sonipat.

In Bhiwani, shopkpeers were forced to down shutters; in Panipat, traders closed shops and business establishments; in Rohtak, students of the Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) took out a protest march.

In Punjab, protests were reported in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala and other places.