Prohibitory Orders under Section 144 CrPC imposed in Mandya district limits of Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway
Mysuru/Bengaluru: The whole of Karnataka came to a standstill today, following the dawn to dusk ‘Karnataka Bandh’ call given by various pro-Kannada organisations and supported by several other organisations, over the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu complying with the recent directive of Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) to release 3,000 cusecs of water for 18 days from Sept. 28 to Oct. 15, apart from the backlog.
Barring essential services like that of milk parlours, fuel stations, medical stores, hospitals and nursing homes, most of the commercial establishments including markets, cinema theatres, malls and supermarkets were shut throughout the State expressing solidarity with the bandh call.
Prominent cities and roads wore a deserted look, with the sparse movement of vehicles. Schools and colleges were also declared holiday, with some of the institutions which had commenced mid-term exams, postponing the exam to a later date in October.
KSRTC bus services suspended
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bangalore Metropolitan Road Transport Corporation (BMRTC) and KSRTC Mysuru Division, though issued instructions to its employees to report to duty, had suspended the services, waiting to resume operations depending on the situation.
However, some of the commuters were caught off-guard, as the KSRTC had suspended operations from KSRTC City Bus Stand and Sub-urban Bus Stand in the city.
No buses to TN
Divisional Controller of KSRTC, Mysuru Division, Hemanth Kumar said “Daily 42 buses were operated to Tamil Nadu and 35 buses from TN to Mysuru. As a precaution, buses from Mysuru to Tamil Nadu have been suspended.”
Second bandh in four days
As it was the second bandh call within a short span of four days, after the recent Bengaluru Bandh (on Sept. 26), the State Government which was wary of the impact, with the losses suffered due to the previous bandh estimated in the range of Rs. 1,500 crore to Rs. 2,000 crore, had made all the precautionary arrangements to check the impact, but to no avail.
The heat over bandh was largely felt in Cauvery basin districts like Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar, where several farmer organisations staged various protests condemning the decision of the State Government to abide by the orders of CWRC.
In capital city Bengaluru, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj staged a protest by wearing a ‘black gown’ and carrying the empty water pot on his head, mimicking the situation Kannadigas are in, due to the release of Cauvery water, which may raise a spectre in the coming days, especially on drinking water front, with less than the average rainfall, prompting the State Government to declare 195 taluks in the State as drought hit.
Later, Vatal Nagaraj joined the protest at Freedom Park along with film producer and Kannada activist Sa. Ra. Govindu, where he addressed a large gathering of pro-Kannada activists.
K. Praveen Shetty who leads his own faction of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) was detained in front of a hotel in RT Nagar, as he was preparing for the protest.
Rallies in Mysuru
Several protests and rallies were witnessed in Mysuru too, with some of the protesters, visiting Command Area Development Authority (CADA) Office, requesting the staff to stop the work, in support of the bandh. Some of them also visited branches of various nationalised banks, appealing to the managers to down shutters.
City Police Commissioner B. Ramesh had issued a press note stating that “There are no provisions to observe any types of bandh. The bandh call given by various political parties and organisations are in violation of law. It is also anti-constitutional and infringes upon the fundamental rights of the people. Hence, no permission will be given to take out any kind of procession in the city. However, there will be provision to stage a protest near Old Deputy Commissioner’s Office.”
Over 2,000 Police personnel and over 300 home guards have been deputed on duty, as part of elaborate security arrangements in the city, the City Police Chief Ramesh added.
Farmer attempts suicide in Ch. Nagar
While at Chamarajanagar, a farmer became indisposed after attempting suicide by strangulating his throat with a green shawl near Bhuvaneshwari Circle. He was immediately rushed to a hospital in Police jeep. The posters of a Tamil movie in front of Siddartha theatre were also torn in anger.
District Tamil Association rallies
Chamarajanagar District Tamil Association that had also announced its support to ‘Karnataka Bandh’ call in the border district, took out a rally.
Home Minister’s warning
Speaking to media persons yesterday, Home Minister Dr. G. Parameshwara said that “There is no provision to call for bandh. If anybody indulges in provocation, they will be arrested. The bandh will affect normal life, besides hitting the State exchequer and the daily wagers.”