The district of Ramanagara including the town of Kanakapura bordering the city of Bengaluru is witnessing an informal shutdown on Wednesday following the arrest of former minister and Kanakapura MLA DK Shivakumar. A part of the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway has been closed. As a precautionary measure, Deputy Commissioner of the district has ordered closure of all schools in Ramanagara district for the day.
Shivakumarâ€™s supporters were out on the streets from Tuesday night, as news spread of his arrest. The protests spread across multiple areas in the district with Congress workers taking out marches and shouting slogans.
Roads have been closed in Ijoor Circle and traffic between Mysuru and Bengaluru are being diverted through Magadi, Huliyurudurga, Maddur and Mandya.
Protests in Bengaluru
Protests are being held in Bengaluru as well at major junctions like Maurya Circle and Anand Rao. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has spoken to senior police officers including Ramanagara District SP to take stock of the situation.
Public buses were burnt and pelted with stones by an angry mob at the Kanakapura main bus depot. According to KSRTC sources, state government run buses faced the fury of Shivakumarâ€™s supporters from last night. In total two buses have been burnt and more than 10 buses have been damaged due to stone pelting. "We have suspended the service for the night in Ramanagara and Kanakapura on the Bengaluru-Mysuru route after protesters turned unruly and damaged four of our route buses by stoning their glass panes in both towns. Passengers were evacuated quickly to prevent injury," a KSRTC official told IANS.
The news of Shivakumar getting hospitalised after courting arrest irked his supporters even more. He remains in the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital in New Delhi as of Wednesday morning.
â€śHis health has deteriorated due to the harassment he has been subjected to. Doctors have advised him to rest but Enforcement Directorate (ED) is trying to take him away,â€ť BV Srinivas, President of Youth Congress told ANI earlier in the day.
Shivakumar was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and section 120 B of the Income Tax Act after the Income Tax Department filed a chargesheet against the Congress leader in the Economic Offences Court in 2018.