Massive violence erupts as SC directs Karnataka to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu; one dead

Apex court on Monday directed Karnataka to release 12000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till September 20. 

Updated: Sep 13, 2016, 00:23 AM IST
PlayMassive violence erupts as SC directs Karnataka to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu; one dead

Bengaluru/Chennai: Widespread violence broke out in southern Karnataka on Monday over Supreme Court's order to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu with one person being killed in police firing in Bengaluru city.

Police opened fire when a mob tried to attack a patrol vehicle at Hegganahalli in Rajagopal Nagar police limits as violence flared up in Bengaluru city with rampaging mobs setting fire to buses and trucks with Tamil Nadu registration plates.

"Two were brought with bullet injuries. One with bullet injury near the heart has died. The other is being operated for injury on right thigh," Dr. Giridhar, Managing Director of Lakshmi Multi-Speciality Hospital, where they were taken told PTI tonight.

Soon after the apex court gave its amended order, directing Karnataka to release 12000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till September 20, violence and arson flared up in Bengaluru, with rampaging mobs setting afire at least 30 vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu number plates.

In its September five order, the apex court had directed release of 15,000 cusecs for 10 days to ameliorate the plight of farmers of neighbouring state.

Trucks with Tamil Nadu registration number plate were either stoned or set on fire also in Mandya, Mysuru, Chitradurga and Dharwad districts.

As violence broke out sending a wave of panic across Bengaluru, the city police clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a preventive measure from today evening.

Angry Kannadiga protesters torched over 30 buses of a Tamil-owned bus depot in Bengaluru.

The KPN bus depot at the Kengeri yard glowed orange as flames leapt up and smoke engulfed the sky as the buses were gutted. A few hundred protesters had entered the bus depot and reportedly manhandled the drivers and other employees present there.

Managing Director of the Salem-headquartered KPN Tours and Travels Limited Rajesh Natarajan claimed that 40 of his buses were set on fire, as per IANS.

Vehicular traffic on the busy 150 km Bengaluru-Mysuru state highway came to a standstill as hundreds of protestors staged demonstrations at Ramanagaram, Kengeri, Mandya and Srirangapatna against the apex court's latest order.

We have also taken about 200 protestors into custody on the charges of rioting, arson and resorting to violence to damage public property and causing unrest in the city," State Home Minister G Paramehswar said.

He added that government did not expect the protest to go to this extent. "We expected that if the decision goes against us, there will be some protest, but definitely not to this extent," he said.

Sporadic violence was also witnessed in Tamil Nadu.

In Tamil Nadu, security has been beefed up for business establishments owned by Kannadigas and also outside the homes of noted Kannada personalities, police said on Monday.

In view of the deteriorating situation, the Centre rushed 10 companies (about 1,000 personnel) of the special anti-riot paramilitary force RAF to Karnataka.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also called up Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu tonight and assured them all central assistance in handling the law and order situation.

After Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah spoke to Singh, an official statement issued in Bengaluru described the situation as "fully under control".

The Union Home Minister responded "positively" to the request for additional central forces, it said.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, no agreement could be reached between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on water sharing at a meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee. The next meeting will be held on September 19.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has called an emergency Cabinet meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the Cauvery issue.

On the other hand, describing the violence in Karnataka as alarming, Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa wrote to Siddaramaiah, seeking protection for Tamil speaking people and their property, hours after he had made a similar plea to her.

Jayalalithaa assured Siddaramaiah that safety of people from Karnataka will be ensured in Tamil Nadu.

As per the 2011 census, around 2.5 million of the 10-million people in Bengaluru are Tamils, constituting the second largest community after Kannadigas.

(With Agency inputs)