Autos, taxis, trucks to be off roads; Over 1,500 hotels, bakeries closed; DC to take a call on school, colleges closure
Mysore/Mysuru: Following the successful Bengaluru Bandh on Sept. 26, pro-Kannada and farmer activists protesting the State Government’s stance on the Cauvery water-sharing dispute are now planning a State-wide Karnataka Bandh tomorrow.
The call for the main bandh has been issued by Kannada Chaluvali leader Vatal Nagaraj. This marks the second protest of the week in the State. While the exact timings for the Karnataka Bandh have not been disclosed, it is presumed to follow the same schedule as the Bengaluru Bandh, running from 6 am to 6 pm.
Over 2,000 pro-Kannada groups have united under the banner of ‘Kannada Okkuta,’ an umbrella organisation for Kannada associations. Activists have cautioned the State Government against attempts to suppress the Bandh and related protests.
They emphasised that the Bandh encompasses the entire State of Karnataka and have indicated their intention to block highways, toll booths, rail services and even airports.
In Mysuru, taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers have pledged full support for the Bandh, with over 30 Autorickshaw Associations extending their backing. Tour and taxi operators have also decided to stay off the roads.
All major Kannada groups are actively preparing for a complete shutdown, with teams assigned to target key locations such as bus terminals and railway stations. Plans are also in motion to bring the Central Business District to a standstill. Lorry and Goods Truck Associations have declared their support and will go off the roads tomorrow.
Deputy Commissioners (DCs) have been granted the authority by the State Government to decide on declaring holidays for educational institutions.
Mysuru DC Dr. K.V. Rajendra told Star of Mysore that he is coordinating with the City Police Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police (SP) to make a decision by 4 pm today.
KSRTC Divisional Controller Srinivas mentioned that they have instructed all drivers and conductors to report for duty tomorrow. Officially, buses will operate, but this is contingent on the situation. If there is a threat to buses and passengers, operations will be suspended for both city and suburban services.
Srinivas added that all buses heading to Tamil Nadu will be taken out of service from this evening and Karnataka buses leaving Tamil Nadu will be directed to halt at their respective bus stations.
Associations of private taxi and bus services have committed to support the Bandh and will stay off the roads from dawn to dusk on Friday. Hotel services, including takeaways, will be affected as hotels have decided to close. A hotelier expressed readiness to support voluntarily, citing the importance of Karnataka’s water and land. All bakeries and food outlets will be closed. There are over 1,500 hotels in Mysuru.
City Police Commissioner B. Ramesh assured that over 2,000 Policemen from various units would be deployed in the city tomorrow to maintain peace. He emphasised that no one would be allowed to forcibly shutdown shops and businesses.