Mysuru/Mandya: Following the Supreme Court’s decision not to interfere with the orders from the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) directing Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, protests erupted in Mysuru and Mandya.
In Mysuru, the major protest was held at the CADA Office where hundreds of farmers marched from the Gun House Circle, expressing their resentment.
They gathered in front of the CADA Office gate amidst tight Police security and shouted slogans against Tamil Nadu for what they called unreasonable demand for water and against Karnataka Government for mismanaging the issue. They termed that the All-Party Meeting in Delhi led by Chief Minister Siddharamaiah was an eyewash and a diversionary tactic while the State was clandestinely releasing water daily to Tamil Nadu.
Several farmers from Srirangapatna, T. Narasipur and the Mysuru belt had brought vessels, rice and vegetables to cook lunch at the CADA Office premises. The protest was led by Nanjundegowda, Vidyasagar and Shankaregowda.
Another group of protesters gathered in front of the Zilla Panchayat (ZP) Office and this protest was led by Tejas Lokesh Gowda of Karnataka Senapade and C.G. Gangadhar of Vokkaligara Sangha. They demanded immediate stalling of the water release to the neighbouring State and alleged that the Siddharamaiah Government was releasing water continuously to favour the I.N.D.I.A. block of which Tamil Nadu Government is a part.
Various farmers’ organisations, which had already been protesting in Mandya and Pandavapura for the past two weeks, intensified their demonstrations.
The Mandya District Farmers Committee continued its indefinite protest in front of Sir M. Visvesvaraya statue. A significant group of protesters marched to the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway at around 11.30 am, temporarily blocking traffic for over 20 minutes before being dispersed by the Police.
Law enforcement authorities along the Expressway in Srirangapatna, Mandya, Maddur and Ramanagara have been put on high alert due to plans for additional protests in the coming days.
Retired engineers and members of various pro-Kannada and farmers’ organisations joined the demonstration in Mandya. In Pandavapura, a large gathering of farmers, led by MLA Darshan Puttannaiah and Kempu Gowda, gathered at the Pilot Circle. Karnataka Rajya Samithi activists attempted to encircle the Mandya Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
Members of the Sri Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Trust organised a bike rally, protests and a march to the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited (CNNL) office to oppose the water release.
Meanwhile, the Kabini Cauvery Horata Samiti has called upon CM Siddharamaiah to assume control of the Water Resources Department, which is currently managed by Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar.
The Samiti accused Shivakumar of mishandling the Cauvery issue and is staging protests in T. Narasipur.