Within a few hours of the Supreme Court revising its order while hearing Karnataka’s application, several parts of southern Karnataka witnessed protests and isolated instances of arson, forcing a partial shutdown of certain services.
Following Karnataka’s application, the Supreme Court modified its order and directed Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water up to September 20. The earlier order on September 5 had directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu for 10 days.
On Monday, protests mostly broke out in Bengaluru city, and in Mandya and Mysuru districts. By noon, KSRTC services had been affected in several southern districts. Senior officials of KSRTC told The News Minute on the condition of anonymity that buses to Tamil Nadu from Kolar, Chamarajanagar, and Bengaluru had been stopped in Attibele.
“Only 14 of the 72 buses to Tamil Nadu completed their journey. After 12 pm, no bus has left the state towards Tamil Nadu,” the official said.
Buses to Mysuru too had been temporarily suspended after 12pm. KSRTC buses to Tamil Nadu via Mysuru ply at night, but KSRTC officials in Mysuru said they would make a decision based on police clearance.
Metro services too did not function after 12.30 pm. Vasant Rao of the BMRCL told The News Minute that a decision had not been taken on services on Tuesday.
Hotels, eateries, retail stores and factories in some parts of the city were forced to close under pressure from Kannada activists.
Schools were also closed early in some parts of Bengaluru. On Tuesday, on account of the government holiday for Bakr-Eid, schools were already scheduled to be closed.
At 5pm on Monday, Bengaluru police declared Section 144 in Bengaluru.
In Mysuru city too, Section 144 had been invoked within a 2km radius around the APMC yard in the Bandipalya area on Nanjangud road. “Things are calm now. We have issued orders for 24 hours but it can be withdrawn depending on the situation,” Mysuru Assistant Commissioner CL Anand told The News Minute around 5 pm.
Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters: “These incidents are unfortunate. The SC order is a great injustice to the state. The CM and I have appealed to the people of both states to maintain peace. In Bengaluru and the four dams on the Cauvery, we have declared Section 144. Section 144 has already been in force at the four dam sites. We took this decision because of incidents in which public property was damaged and we want to prevent further damage.”
He said that around 200 people who participated in vandalism and arson had been detained.
Parameshwara said that the state government had already deployed 10 companies of RAF and CRPF, and had requested the central government for an additional 10.
Of the state forces, the state government has deloyed 182 KSRP platoons and 20,000 Home Guards personnel. “But no matter how many police personnel we deploy, unless the public cooperate, we cannot bring the situation under control. So we appeal once more, if you have to protest, do in peacefully, do not damage public property.”
On September 9, the state witnessed a near total shutdown, following a call given by Kannada groups and farmers’ organizations to protest the Supreme Court’s September 5 order. However, except for instances of self-harm – suicide attempts by drowning and stabbing – little violence had been observed during the bandh.