IAC members picket outside HSBC office, Ambanis' residence

HT Correspondent

Mumbai, Nov. 11 -- A day after anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal made allegations against the Ambani family and HSBC Bank, workers of India Against Corruption (IAC) staged protests outside the Ambanis' family home, Sea Wind, at Cuffe Parade and the Indian headquarters of HSBC at Flora Fountain in south Mumbai on Saturday.

However, the response to the protest was lukewarm. Around 50 persons were detained by the police after they assembled and shouted slogans in protest against those Kejriwal had accused of stashing black money in Swiss banks.

According to IAC leader Mayank Gandhi, who led the agitation, the motive of the protests was to show that corporates cannot take Indians for granted.

"We may be small in numbers but we wanted to stage a protest to highlight how these big groups are looting the nation," said Gandhi.

"The government goes after small offenders but are silent when it comes to the Ambani group."

There was not much the protesters could do as the police maintained tight security around Sea Wind. The protesters were forced to continue their protest at Godrej Garden which is opposite the residence.

The protests came a day after Kejriwal alleged that corporates including the Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal, Congress MP Annu Tandon, and the Burmans of Dabur had accounts in the Geneva branch of HSBC.

Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan had on Friday alleged that around Rs6,000 crore of black money was lying in 700 accounts in Swiss banks.

However, all those targeted by the anti-corruption activists have denied any such transaction while HSBC says it is complying with all the laws of the land.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.