Kannada organizations and farmers’ groups staged protests across the state - including the state capital Bengaluru - on Thursday burning tyres and effigies, and throwing eggs in one instance.
Early on Thursday morning, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike in Chikballapura district threw eggs at posters of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Wednesday, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar had given a call for a state wide bandh while speaking in Tumakuru.
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While Bengaluru is largely functioning as usual, barring some protests, the norther districts of the state are witnessing strong protests.
Protests were strongest in Dharwad, Belagavi, Gadag districts which will be directly affected by the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s rejection of Karnataka’s plea to grant 7.5tmc of water from the river. Schools and colleges in the three districts are shut.
One protest in Dharwad had people singing bhajans and playing cymbals, TV 9 Kannada reported. The Aakashvani centre in the city has been vandalized by protesters.
Protesters forcibly shut shops in Belagavi, as they were open despite the call for the bandh. Dozens of people have been arrested in Belagavi district, amid altercations between protestors and police.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike president Praveen Shetty has been detained by the police in Bengaluru. The Vedike planned to launch a protest from Mekhri Circle, blocking traffic towards the airport.
In Bengaluru too, protesters burned effigies of the Chief Minister. A protest march from KG Road to Majestic Bus Stand has caused major traffic jams on adjacent roads.
The Youth Congress staged a protest in front of the BJP’s Karnataka office in Malleswaram, Bengaluru, protesting against the centre’s attitude towards Karnataka over the Mahadayi project.
Except for the coastal and Malnad districts, protests have erupted nearly everywhere else in the state.
In the Lok Sabha too, the Mahadayi verdict created a furore among the Congress MPs. BJP leader elected to the Lok Sabha from Belagavi, Suresh Angadi, created a stir in Parliament when he alleged that in 2006 Sonia Gandhi had said that she would not allow Karnataka to get even a drop of water.
Writer Chandrashekar Patil urged MPs to either exert pressure on the central government to facilitate the Kalasa-Banduri project or to resign.