- Protests held across Cauvery Basin Districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara
- BJP calls for Bengaluru Bandh on Sept. 26
Mandya: In a show of solidarity, the Cauvery heartland of Mandya and Maddur witnessed a complete shutdown this morning as farmers, activists and various pro-Kannada organisations united for a Bandh against the State Government’s move to comply with the orders to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
The call for the Bandh was given by Cauvery Hitharakshana Samithi in Mandya and Maddur.
In fact, today’s protests were held in the Cauvery River basin districts including Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara districts.
Other districts such as Chitradurga, Ballari, Davanagere, Koppal and Vijayapura also saw protests, where individuals engaged in sloganeering, blocking roads, burning tyres and effigies.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have called for a Bengaluru Bandh on Sept. 26 (Tuesday), over Cauvery water issue. As per reports, BJP leaders have said that the Bengaluru Bandh serves as a rallying call for unity and proactive engagement among Kannadigas.
In Mysuru, the Advocates voluntarily boycotted Court proceedings and got onto the streets, demanding immediate stoppage of water release.
They also alleged that the Karnataka Advocates failed to present the argument in the right and convincing way, supported by the water statistics from the Cauvery basin dams, in the Supreme Court.
Mandya, often referred to as the sugar bowl of Karnataka, along with the neighbouring town of Maddur, came to a complete halt as the peaceful demonstration commenced at approximately 7 am. The voluntary closure of shops, with the exception of those dealing in essential commodities, had a profound impact on the city’s daily routine.
Protesters from diverse backgrounds, including students who boycotted classes, succeeded in shutting down most shops and businesses across Mandya. Schools and colleges declared a holiday and students were left stranded as there were no buses in operation.
Commercial activities came to a grinding halt as autos, private, and KSRTC buses ceased operations, leading to disruptions in traffic along Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway. Alternative routes and diversions were arranged to bypass Mandya and Maddur.
Kannada activists and farmers appealed to the populace, particularly shopkeepers and proprietors of various commercial establishments, including petrol and diesel service stations, to cooperate by observing a total bandh. Most shops remained closed in support and those that initially opened later shut their doors following the activists’ plea.
Some farmer leaders resorted to lying on the road, while others formed a human chain near J.C. Circle to protest in Mandya. A significant protest unfolded at Sanjay Circle in Mandya, where members of the Mandya Rakshana Vedike arrived in a bike rally.
They marched, raised slogans, staged a sit-in demonstration and even performed ‘urulu seve’ on the road, all in protest of what they perceived as injustice to Mandya and Karnataka. Symbolic acts, such as making tea on the streets, were carried out to express their dissent with the orders.
The KSRTC bus depot stood deserted, and private vehicles remained parked as residents refrained from their daily activities. Various groups, including traders’ associations, hotel owners, petrol station proprietors, auto drivers, private bus and lorry owners, declared their full support for the bandh.
At 8 am, a protest march, led by the Farmers’ Welfare Committee, proceeded along Mandya’s main roads, starting near the Visvesvaraya statue. Another group embarked on a bike rally through the streets.
Former MLC K.T. Srikantegowda led the effort to instruct shops to close, and they were urged to voluntarily cooperate with the bandh. Simultaneously, protestors blocked the fronts of shops and petrol stations.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was scheduled to participate in today’s farmers’ struggle and will join the protest alongside farmers after visiting the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam (KRS) today afternoon. Former Minister C.T. Ravi, former JD(S) MLAs from Mandya and several Congress leaders will offer their support to the cause.
Mandya and Maddur are under heightened Police alert, with robust security measures in place at strategic locations. The Police have taken precautionary steps to prevent any untoward incidents, deploying more than 400 Police personnel, including ASPs, three DY.SPs, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, six KSRP, five DAR Squads and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel. Southern Range DIGP Dr. M.B. Boralingaiah and Mandya SP N. Yathish are camping in Mandya.