Cauvery water row: Karnataka braces for bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits today

Bengaluru: A dawn-to-dusk Karnataka bandh has been called by pro-Kannada outfits on Friday to protest against the Supreme Court’s direction to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu is likely to throw normal life out of gear. This is the second bandh that the state is bracing for in less than a week’s time and the fourth this year.

Cauvery Water row Bengaluru Kannada protest PTI

Officials said with the bandh on the emotive Cauvery issue is being supported by several organisations, unions and political parties. Public transport may be affected as state transport buses will stay off the roads, and autorickshaw and cab unions are extending their support to bandh. Metro services is also likely to be hit.

Keeping security of students in mind, schools and colleges have declared a holiday tomorrow and attendance at government offices will not be compulsory, according to officials.

According to The NewsMinute, members of the Jaya Karnataka protests at the Sangoli Rayanna railway station and tried to lay siege to it. Some women members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike have been detained by the Bengaluru Police for protesting at the airport. They were protesting at the departures gate of the airport.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike’s Narayana Gowda tried to enter was detained by the police after members of the outfit tried to enter Bengaluru railway station. On the other hand, Ramesh Gowda called on Tamil actor Rajinikanth to help resolve the water dispute.

In Mandya, members of the Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike are protesting with have blocked the National Highway, reported The NewsMinute.

The news portal reports that 3500 petrol bunks in Karnataka, 480 in Bengaluru, will not be functioning till 6 pm on Friday. Newspaper distributors have extended support to the protesters in Karnataka and stopped supply of Tamil newspapers in Bengaluru.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Siddaramiah made an appeal for peace and said there should be no damage to public property during the bandh. “We are making all required arrangements. Bandh should be peaceful and no untoward incident should happen. Those who have called for bandh should also take care,” he added. The Chief Minister also held a meeting of senior officials of Home and police departments to review security measures.

In Bengaluru, more than 14,000 police personnel will be deployed. 36 Karnataka State Reserve Police, 30 City Armed Reserve platoons and one company Rapid Action Force have been deployed. ‘Kannada Okkoota’, led by Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj will be holding a “massive” protest march from Town hall to Freedom Park in city in the morning.