The dawn-to-dusk ‘Karnataka bandh’ called by Kannada outfits to protest release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu today disrupted normal life in the city and river basin districts even as window-panes of some buses were damaged in stone-pelting incidents. The bandh is being supported by the ruling BJP as well as the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
An 80,000-strong police force will be stationed in Bangalore.
Several Kannada outfits gave a call for a statewide bandh in protest against the Supreme Court’s directive to the state government to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily from the river to their neighbouring state that is facing a severe water shortage due to a rainfall deficit.
Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa too has joined the bandh. According to a report in IBN Live,he has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of favouring Jayalalitha. “”The Prime Minister has taken all decisions by sitting in Delhi. Now they have sent a team to Mandya. Couldn’t they have done this before and taken the decision? There is no water and they have no idea of the ground realities. SM Krishna is in Delhi. Why is he not doing anything? The PM wants to save his government. That’s why all favourable decisions are made in favour of Jayalalitha,” he told the news channel.
Yeddyurappa, who began a day-long dharna in protest against the CRA order on Friday, demanded that the Prime Minister withdraw the “diktat without delaying even for a moment”. He stressed that the Prime Minister should have first sent a central team to the state to study the ground realities before issuing the order.
Meanwhile, in Bangalore, some persons pelted stones on some Bangalore metropolitan transport Corporation buses and damaged its window panes, police said. There will be no home delivery of LPG cylinders today. Gas stations and petrol pumps are also shut. Roads which are generally choc-a-bloc with traffic wore a deserted look with people preferring to remain indoors barring few morning walkers. Some persons, who had come to visit the city, were seen stranded at railway stations and bus stands with buses belonging to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and even autorickshaws remaining off the roads.
Activists belonging to pro-Kannada organisation, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, staged protest marches in Nelamangala, Anekal and Doddaballapura in Bangalore Rural
The Chamundi Express was stopped at Srirangapatna and not allowed to proceed to Mysore, railway police said.
The central study team, on its second day of visit for assessing the water-situation, undertook an aerial study in Harangi, Kabini and Hemavathy catchment area. Peaceful protest marches were held in Mandya and Mysore districts with farmers resorting to “rasta roko” in
Srirangapatna and Gejjalagere in Mandya district, hotbed of the stir, police said.
Security has been tightened with 80,000 police and other personnel being deployed to prevent any untoward incidents.
The Karnataka government began releasing 9000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu after the Supreme Court asked it to abide by the September 19 directive of the Cauvery River Authority, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, till October 15. Karnataka, however, started releasing water only last Saturday after a directive from the Supreme Court, which pulled up the state government for not obeying the CRA order.
With inputs from PTI