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    Massive protests across India in Anna's support

    New Delhi: Even as Anna Hazare remained in Tihar Jail demanding unconditional release and permission to fast as long as he wants to, his supporters have kept the anti-corruption crusade alive by taking part in protests across India.

    Massive rallies in support of Hazare have been taken out in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkatta, Chennai, Patna, Lucknow, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi and Bhopal. Protest rallies have also been reported from several smaller cities and towns.

    Many people took leave from work in several cities to show their solidarity with the anti-corruption movement. A large number of people assembled at India Gate in New Delhi and marched towards Jantar Mantar near Parliament demanding Hazare's release. Hazare supporters who have been camping outside the Tihar Jail since Tuesday evening sang patriotic songs and shouting slogans in support of Hazare.

    Protests continued in Mumbai, too, as anti-corruption movement supporters thronged the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai. Besides the activists of the NGO 'India Against Corruption' (IAC), youth and mill workers also joined the protests.

    Some railway employees also joined in the protest. Motormen gathered in front of the divisional railway manager's office at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, to express support to Hazare s agitation but train services were not disrupted.

    The issue also rocked the Orissa Assembly which was adjourned twice amid uproar as BJP and ruling BJD MLAs condemned the police action and sought a strong Lokpal Bill.

    BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo and party members described the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre as "murderer of democracy."

    Lawyers of Orissa High Court in Cuttack wore black badges and termed the action on Hazare as an assault on democracy and human rights.

    The Bihar unit of 'India Against Corruption' said its members would start a wider contact programme in the state from Thursday visiting villages and towns, state IAC convenor Sanjay Kumar Dutta said.

    Hazare's supporters undertook a 'padyatra' from Maurya Lok complex to Kargil Chowk in Patna on Wednesday morning in protest against Tuesday's police action against Hazare and his supporters in New Delhi.

    In Jharkhand, India cricket team captain MS Dhoni's elder brother Narendra Singh Dhoni came out in support of Hazare and demanded a strong Lokpal. In Andhra Pradesh workers of BJP, TDP, PRP, Lok Satta and several voluntary organisations held rallies and demonstrations in several cities.

    Former Uttarakhand chief minister BC Khanduri led a rally in support of Hazare. Students in Arunachal Pradesh stalled traffic movement on the vital NH 52-A in the North East.