Cauvery protests spill over to Bangalore
Bangalore: Gathering momentum, the Cauvery-related protests on Friday spilled over to the city on a large-scale disrupting normal life even as the government braced itself for tomorrow's 'Karnataka bandh' called by Kannada outfits to protest the release of water to Tamil Nadu.
The stir, hitherto confined to Mandya and other Cauvery basin districts, spread to the country's IT capital with Kannada protagonist organisations holding a spate of protests.
Shops and business establishments in several areas downed shutters and the rallies held in different parts of the city virtually choked vehicular movement.
Protests entered the sixth day in Cauvery basin areas, as a Central study team visited Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini dams from where water is being released, and some parts of the river basin for assessing the water situation.
Central Water Commission Official Jacob, who is part of the delegation, told reporters in Mysore the team would submit its findings to the Prime Minister by October 7.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the state's counsel today mentioned before the Supreme Court on its plea seeking review of the September 19 Cauvery River Authority order, asking Karnataka to release 9000 cusecs till October 15.
The court has agreed to hear the petition on October eight, he said, adding, the state has also filed an interim application seeking stay on the CRA order and praying for its modification. "I hope people of Karnataka will get justice."
Several pontiffs, including Balagangadharanath Swamiji, Adichunchanagari Mutt of the Vokkaliga community, who form a big chunk of the population in the Cauvery basin districts, jumped into the stir taking part in the protests in the city.
Influential Pejawar Mutt head Visweshatheertha Swamiji demanded that all ministers and MLAs resign in Karnataka and take a delegation to the Prime Minister.
With several Kannada outfits calling for a statewide bandh tomorrow, security has been beefed up with 80,000 police and other personnel being deployed, Additional Director General of Police, Bipin Gopalakrishna said.
In Bangalore, 20,000 police personnel including those from Karnataka State Reserve Police and City Armed Reserve would be deployed, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Suneel Kumar said.
Normal life is expected to be affected in Bangalore and Cauvery basin districts with Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation deciding not to operate their services.
Autorickshaws and even cab drivers have decided to join the stir which is also being backed by Advocates Association of Bangalore who called for boycott of courts.
Cinema theatres will not be screening films with the Kannada film industry supporting the bandh.
Official sources said schools and colleges will also be closed tomorrow in view of the bandh.
Speaking to reporters, Governor H R Bhardwaj said he fully stood by the government decision on Cauvery issue. The direction of the Supreme Court has to be honoured and the state with due diligence has obeyed it, he added.
Former chief minister and sulking BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa jumped into the Cauvery stir by staging a day-long dharna in the city, which he later extended till tomorrow.
He said he planned to take out a padayatra from Bangalore to Krishna Raja Sagar dam and would discuss it with Madegowda, president of a committee spearheading the stir, who is on a relay fast at Mandya.
Former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy met the Central study team near KRS reservoir and apprised it of the shortage of water for standing crops and drinking water.