Police take protesting farmers into preventive custody
Mysore/Mysuru: The Karnataka Bandh called by farmer organisations, with support from over 30 Labour, Social, Trader and other associations, in protest against the recent amendments to Land Reforms, APMC, Labour and Electricity Acts, evoked mixed response in city this morning.
Almost all shops and commercial establishments remained shut till 11 am. Although KSRTC started bus services as usual in the morning, the services were suspended a few minutes later after the protesting farmers and activists blocked the exit gate of sub-urban bus stand.
The bandh began with over 200 farmers and members of various other organisations gathering in front of sub-urban bus stand at about 6.30 am. As the KSRTC authorities continued operating buses despite the protest, the farmers blocked the gate, thus forcing the authorities to suspend bus operations.
The protestors, led by office-bearers of Raitha-Dalita-Karmikara Aikya Horata Samithi, which took the lead in calling for the bandh, marched to the Town Hall, where they staged a demonstration for some time before proceeding to Kote Anjaneyaswamy Temple at the Palace North Gate, where they sat on a dharna for a few minutes and got ready to take out a procession.
The Police tried to convince the protestors against doing so. But the unrelenting protestors attempted to take out a procession to K.R. Circle, when they were taken into custody by the Police as a preventive measure.
Police had blocked the stretch from Chamaraja Wadiyar Circle to K.R. Circle for vehicular movement when the farmers staged dharna.
Marking the bandh, the protesters also took out bike rallies on several prominent roads of the city, raising slogans against the Central and State Governments.
They accused the Governments of pursuing anti-people policies by introducing farm bills and making amendments to Land Reforms and APMC Acts that are a death warrant for the farming community and also badly affect the common man.
Although most of the shops on D. Devaraja Urs Road, Santhepet, Shivarampet, Ashoka Road, Dhanvanthri Road, N.S. Road, Sayyaji Rao Road and other commercial streets in the Central Business District (CBD) did not open as usual in the morning, several of them opened later in the day after the bandh fizzled out as hours passed by.
Autos and other public modes of transport too were off the roads in the morning hours but they later began to hit the streets slowly, with the city returning to near normalcy by afternoon.
Meanwhile, the response to the bandh in localities seemed to be have had lesser effect as most shops opened late in the morning. Also many areas witnessed less than normal public movement in the morning. Petrol Bunks, Hotels, Medical Shops, Milk Booths and other essential services functioned as usual.
Speaking to press persons this noon, DCP Dr. A.N. Prakash Gowda said that the bandh had passed off peacefully so far with no untoward incidents reported from any part of the city.
Maintaining that permission was given only for staging a peaceful protest and not for taking out any procession, he said that farmers and activists who tried to take out a procession to K.R. Circle were taken into preventive custody.
As a security measure, the Cops were deployed in large numbers in CBD, markets, bus stands and other prominent junctions and joints in the city.
At Nanjangud: It was mixed response for the bandh at Nanjangud with Petrol Bunks, offices, banks and other commercial establishments functioning as usual today.
While a group of 50 farmers, led by Hadya Ravi were taken into custody at Hullahalli Circle for trying to block the road, another group of farmers led by Vidyasagar of Hasiru Sene staged a protest in front of the Taluk Office and submitted a memorandum to the Tahsildar.
KSRTC authorities had stopped the buses due to lack of commuters in the morning.