BENGALURU: Normal life remained unaffected in Bengaluru following the statewide bandh called by a coalition of pro-Kannada organisations demanding the implementation of the Sarojini Mahishi report on job reservations for Kannadigas in the state. Interestingly, it was ‘house arrest’ for some of the leaders of these pro-Kannada organisations. The city police hadn’t taken any chances and ensured security measures in sensitive places, especially in areas like Majestic bus stand and metro stations in Bengaluru. There were a few isolated incidents of burning tyres.
Pro-Kannada activist Praveen Shetty was kept under house arrest and wasn’t even allowed to go for his morning walk. Activists made rounds in some areas to appeal to traders to shut their shops in their support. In Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, activists reportedly tried to shut shops and business establishments forcibly.
Tension gripped around Mysore Bank Circle and Majestic after an altercation between pro-Kannada activists and policemen when the protesters tried to stop BMTC buses and other vehicles. The police pushed the protesters inside cars to detain them and took them away from the spot. Policemen were deployed in huge numbers around main junctions like Majestic, Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar and all TTMC centres to prevent any untoward incidents.
Metro and other public transport operated as usual. Cabs and auto-rickshaw services were also available like other days.Meanwhile, several protesters blocked the road at Neraluru in Hosur border to block bus services from Tamil Nadu and also burnt tyres on NICE Road and Attibele Road.
Following the bandh, thousands of passengers left the city in the early hours to catch their flights even when their flights were scheduled around afternoon and evening. The airport was jam-packed and passengers were found sleeping on chairs and at departure premises.However, there were no any untoward incidents. Passengers at Majestic were few in number as many people knew about the bandh.
The protest call was given by the ‘Karnataka Sanghatanegala Okkoota’, comprising a few factions of ‘Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV)’. It also has backing of Ola-Uber cab drivers’ association, a few auto unions, associations of farmers, street vendors, trade unions and transporters.