Cauvery bandh cripples south Karnataka
The bandh called by various Kannada organisations and political parties protesting against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu was a success in the Cauvery basin and old Mysore region while there was a mixed response from the rest of the state.
Additional director general of police (ADGP) law and order Bipin Gopalkrishna told Express that the bandh was peaceful across the state. In all, 550 protesters were taken into preventive custody.
In the old Mysore region including Bangalore, the bandh was complete. Over a dozen trains operating from Mysore were cancelled fully or partially. While authorities stopped some trains at the originating places apprehending trouble, others were stopped by protestors at various places in Mysore and Mandya districts.
Buses, taxis and autorickshaws which remained off the roads, began to ply after 6 pm. As many as 29 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses were stoned in different parts of Bangalore. Hundreds of passengers who arrived at the Bangalore International Airport were stranded for hours.
In Mysore and Mandya, thousands came on to the streets. Three people attempted suicide while one died of cardiac arrest during a protest in Mysore. Activists attacked infotech firm Wipro’s premises in Mysore for defying the bandh call, ransacking furniture and breaking flower pots and forcibly closed Central government offices on Hunsur Road.
In Bombay-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka regions including Belgaum, Hubli, Gulbarga, Raichur and Bidar, there was poor response to the bandh.
Though the film industry had supported the bandh, cinemas here screened films and cable TV operators also aired entertainment channels contrary to the call given by the state association.
Transport services in the region remained unaffected.
President of Hyderabad- Karnataka Horata Samiti Lakshman Dasti reasoned that people of the region were not obliged to support the Cauvery issue since they did not receive support for genuine causes of his region.
In Davangere, Chitradurga, Chikmagalur, Kodagu and Shimoga, the response was mixed