Bengaluru: Bengaluru Tamil Sangam leaders on Tuesday met Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara and sought protection for Tamils living in the state amid protests by farmers and various pro-Kannada outfits against the Supreme Court direction to release Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu.
"We met Home Minister Parameshwara and sought protection for Tamils living across the state, including at sensitive places such as Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chamrajnagar, Mandya and Kolar goldfields," Sangam president G Damodaran said in a statement in Bengaluru.
Earlier, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra had urged the people to maintain calm and not damage government property as the state government was taking steps to address the issue. The Sangam leaders reiterated their stand of supporting the Karnataka government's decision in the vexed Cauvery issue from the very beginning. Parameshwara has assured "full protection" for Tamils living in the state and said security was provided to the places where the community had a considerable presence, Damodaran said.
The Cauvery row heated up after the Supreme Court on Monday directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to address the plight of the farmers there.
The apex court's direction triggered an immediate backlash with farmers' associations spearheading a protest and calling for a bandh today at Mandya district. In 1991, Bengaluru and Mysuru had witnessed anti-Tamil violence which had forced hundreds of Tamils from southern Karnataka to flee in a matter of weeks. Eighteen people were killed in the violence during the Cauvery turmoil then.