Bengaluru: A dawn-to-dusk Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits on Friday to protest against the Supreme Court's direction to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu is likely to throw normal life out of gear.
This is the second bandh that the state is bracing for in less than a week's time and the fourth this year. Officials said with the bandh on the emotive Cauvery issue is being supported by several organisations, unions and political parties.
Public transport may be affected as state transport buses will stay off the roads, and autorickshaw and cab unions are extending their support to bandh. Metro service is also likely to be hit.
Keeping security of students in mind, schools and colleges have declared a holiday on Friday and attendance at government offices will not be compulsory, according to officials. While some private companies have declared holiday, others are making alternative arrangements like 'work from home' for employees.
Tamil channels will not be aired on Friday with Karnataka Cable Operators Association supporting the bandh. Shops and establishments, markets, petrol bunks, hotels and malls are likely to remain shut, besides banks.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order. Extra forces have been deployed with two companies each from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, one from Maharashtra and 10 companies of central forces, police said.
Chief Minister Siddaramiah made an appeal for peace and said there should be no damage to public property during the
bandh. "We are making all required arrangements. Bandh should be peaceful and no untoward incident should happen. Those who have called for bandh should also take care," he added.
The Chief Minister also held a meeting of senior officials of Home and police departments to review security measures. Seeking cooperation from public and organisations in maintaining peace, Home Minister G Parameshwara said the issue is of entire state and the government had to take certain decisions within the framework of law.
In Bengaluru, more than 14,000 police personnel will be deployed. 36 Karnataka State Reserve Police, 30 City Armed Reserve platoons and one company Rapid Action Force have been deployed.
'Kannada Okkoota', led by Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj will be holding a "massive" protest march from Town hall to Freedom Park in city in the morning.