Strong protests have erupted in parts of southern Karnataka mainly concentrated in a handful of districts and the state capital Bengaluru.
Kannada groups and farmers’ organizations are staging protests in several parts of Karnataka against the Supreme Court’s direction asking Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu.
Within hours of the Supreme Court direction, Kannada organization and farmers’ groups had called for a Mandya bandh. A state-wide bandh however, has been called for September 9.
Here are the developments that have occurred on Tuesday:
Protests have broken out in Mandya district – which is irrigated by the water from the Cauvery, in Kogadu district, which is the birthplace of the Cauvery, and Chikmaglur districts. Police security has been stepped up at the Harangi (Kodagu), Hemavathi (Hassan), KRS (Mandya) and Kabini (Mysuru) reservoirs. Kodagu Police have closed off Harangi reservoir to visitors.
Mandya Police have detained about 100 protesters at KRS dam, when they attempted to lay siege to the dam. They are raising slogans against the release of water to Tamil Nadu.
Protesters in Mandya burned an effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and also garlanded her photograph with chappals. They also did the same for a photograph of former Mandya MP and Congress leader Ramya. Posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former minister MH Ambareesh were burned.
People of Halagur village gheraoed the BWSSB office at the TK Halli reservoir, which is the main source of Cauvery water supply to Bengaluru.
Members of the Kasturi Karnataka Janapara Vedike gheraoed the residence of Karnataka Water Resources Minister MP Patil in Bengaluru, and demanded his removal from the Cabinet.
Elsewhere, there is a demand for the removal of senior counsel Fali S Nariman’s removal. The respected advocate has fought the case for several decades. JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda has spoken in support of Nariman, saying that it was not right to remove him when he has fought the case for so many years.
Screenings of Tamil films in Bengaluru have been stalled at least two locations including Pushpanjali theatre in RT Nagar.
Former PM and JD (S) leader HD Deve Gowda also urged the Karnataka government to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court in the interest of farmers in Karnataka.
Pro-Karnataka leaders including Vatal Nagaraj (second from the left) addressing the media at Bengaluru Press Club