Thousands detained after protests over Anna's arrest

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Mumbai, Aug 16 (PTI) Over 3,000 people have been picked on the charges of unlawful assembly from across the city today after they held demonstrations protesting against the police action against activist Anna Hazare, hours before he was to launch his fast against corruption, police said.

"Approximately, 3,000-4,000 people have been detained and released across Mumbai," City Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik told reporters here.

People in large numbers held protest at Azad Maidan without requisite permission in support of Anna Hazare and were picked up for unlawful assembly, a police officer said.

Similar protests were held at Matunga and Dindoshi areas of the city.

The protesters raised slogans such as ''Vande Mataram'', ''Anna Hazare hum tumhare saath hain'' (Anna we are with you), ''corruption hatao'' (eliminate corruption) when the police started lodging them in vans.

Traffic in and around the Azad Maidan has been affected due to protests and vehicular movements were diverted accordingly, police said.

Meanwhile, Home Minister R R Patil took stock of the situation in the state in the wake of the pro-Hazare protest with senior Home Ministry and police officials.

The situation, however, is peaceful, Patil said adding no untoward incident has been reported anywhere in the state.

Patil appealed protesters to maintain peace. He also asked the police to handle the situation patiently.

Hazare was arrested in the morning on grounds of apprehension of breach of peace following his intention to defy prohibitory orders to go on indefinite hunger strike.

He was sent to seven days'' judicial custody after he refused to sign a personal bond and come out on bail following his arrest. (More) PTI VM KKP MR VKV

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