Several thousand people joined social crusader Anna Hazare Tuesday as he started a rally from Juhu beach to the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex here where he will sit on a three-day hunger strike for a strong Lokpal.
Hazare had come to Juhu beach to pay his respects at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, signalling a symbolic start to his agitation. Surrounded by a posse of security personnel, he prayed at the Gandhi statue, and smiled and waved to his supporters.
Flanked by Team Anna members Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal, Hazare boarded an open truck decorated like a political 'rath' for the rally as several activists raised slogans in his name and cheered him.
The truck, led by a group of motorcyclists and many cars, besides hundreds of supporters walking in the morning chill, moved its way through the approximately 15-km route to the protest venue.
It moved through the busy roads of Juhu, Santacruz, Khar and other areas where some of the most glamorous and powerful people live.
Earlier this morning, Hazare was greeted with black flags soon after he stepped out of a government guest house in Bandra to proceed to Juhu beach to launch his strike.
The activists, numbering nearly two dozen, showed black flags and shouted slogans even as Hazare's security personnel whisked them away from his route.
Barring this protest incident, the stage was set for Hazare's three-day agitation for a strong Lokpal bill. The Maharashtra government and security personnel were ready to make it a smooth and hassle-free affair, an official said.