Bengaluru, September 12: More than 56 buses were set on fire by angry protesters at Bengaluru’s KPN bus depot after Supreme Court gave an order that Karnataka must release more water from the Cauvery dam to its neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. According to reports, around 500 protesters entered the KPN bus depot on Monday evening and manhandled drivers and other employees present at the spot. Around 56 buses had been set ablaze at the KPN bus depot, which is owned by a person of Tamil origin. The firefighters have reached the spot and are still trying to douse the flames. According to CNN News 18, more than 20 buses have been completely charred while several others still continue to burn.
Following the huge outrage the Karnataka state transport authority has halted all services to Tamil Nadu. According to reports, mobs burnt Tamil Nadu-registered trucks and buses on the roads and vandalised shops at the It hubs. The mobs screamed slogans, “We will give blood but not Cauvery”, while the buses were burnt at the KPN bus depot. In Bengaluru were lots of foreigners reside are asked to avoid places where demonstration has been taking place. The United States on Monday evening issued an advisory to its citizens in Bengaluru to avoid places affected with the violent demonstration. (Also Read: Cauvery row: Karnataka government asks Tamil Nadu to ensure safety of Kannadigas)
The violence at IT hub had left state Congress government and the police officials in a very big challenge. Some images showed young men turning over an Innova Car and wrecking it by using rods. the angry mobs were also seen throwing stones at shops. Tamil Nadu bank office in Bengaluru was also vandalised on Monday morning. State Home Minister G Parameshwara requested pro-Kannada activists and farmers associations to maintain peace. He said, “we will fight it legally”.The top court on Monday had commented on protests in Karnataka saying that, “Citizens cannot become a law unto themselves.”
Today evening section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru, where large gatherings were banned as a precaution. For next two days, schools and colleges will remain closed and some offices were closed early after metro services were briefly stopped. The Apex Court had modified its earlier order today and said that Karnataka has to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu instead of 15,000 cusecs which the court ordered earlier. Karnataka, which will end up giving more water, urged a review but the court refused it. (Also Read: Cauvery Dispute: Section 144 of CrPC imposed in Bengaluru city, Pandavapura as preventive measure)
Tamil Nadu bus services targetted by mobs
KPN is one of the leading transport companies in South India and the owner of the bus also hails from Tamil Nadu. The buses burnt today regularly ply between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Some reports suggest that protesters started attacking the city transport buses as well near Kengeri (Western Bengaluru).
The next meeting of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee will be held in Delhi on 19 September. According to media reports, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry have been requested to submit relevant information to Cauvery Supervisory Committee by 15 September but after the recent violence, there are chances that the meeting may be held soon.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa keeps mum as protest rage on
Almost 10 hours after the violent protest in Bengaluru has brought the nation’s IT capital to a standstill, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has not issued any statement about the ongoing unrest.
As mobs vandalised Bengaluru and several parts of Mysuru, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart asking her to maintain peace and calm in the state. Jayalalithaa has not responded to the letter yet. Experts are still wondering why Tamil Nadu CM has not yet issued any statement after historical hotel in Chennai, New Woodlands Hotel, was attacked by goons on Monday morning.
Cauvery water crisis began in 1892
The Cauvery water crisis is more than 120 years old. The Cauvery river originates in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, flows into Tamil Nadu and reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar. The river flows from parts of three Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka – and the Union Territory of Pondicherry lie in the Cauvery basin. The legal dispute over the waters of the Cauvery has its origins in agreements signed in 1892 and 1924 between the erstwhile princely state of Mysuru and the Madras Presidency.
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