After the Karnataka High Court order declared bandhs as "unconstitutional", pro-Kannada activist and President of Karnataka Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, Vatal Nagaraj, has withdrawn the call for the bandh on Sunday.
The High Court, on Friday, had stayed the shutdown called by the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations. The division bench led by Acting Chief Justice HG Ramesh recalled an earlier Supreme Court ruling which declared bandhs as illegal. The court also directed the state government to ensure that common people and businesses were not affected in any way.
Following this order, Vatal Nagaraj told TNM that the confederation had withdrawn the bandh. However, he said that Sunday would be observed as a "black day".
â€śThe purpose of the bandh was to put pressure on the central government. The bandh was called on Sunday specifically because Prime Minister Modi will be in Bengaluru that day. We will continue to fight for the farmers. We will observe a black day and hold a protest at Freedom Park instead,â€ť Vatal Nagaraj added.
The protest will be held at 11 am on Sunday where the members of the confederation will demand Prime Minister Modiâ€™s intervention in the Mahadayi Water Sharing Dispute.
Vatal Nagaraj also said that he would contest the High Court's order.
â€śI respect the courtâ€™s order but I also have the right to contest the order and I will do so, even if I have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. For now, I will adhere to the court order,â€ť he said.
On January 25, the same day that a state-wide bandh had been called on the Mahadayi water dispute, a PIL was filed by Shraddha Parents Association seeking the courtâ€™s direction to declare the two bandhs â€“ January 25 and February 4 â€“ as illegal. The other prayer in the petition was to direct protesting groups such as Vatal Nagaraj to submit Rs 500 crore security. The petitioners argued that in the last year, there had been more than 12 such strikes that had allegedly affected not only the economy but also childrenâ€™s education.
The January 25 bandh, however, resulted in partial suspension of public services and disruption of normal life in most parts of the state. While schools and colleges had declared a holiday in Bengaluru, BMTC buses were largely off the road, with several employees participating in the strike.
Following this, on January 29, the High Court issued notices to the state government and Vatal Nagaraj seeking their response to the issue of alleged losses caused due to the strike.