Bandh over Cauvery water row affects normal life in Bengaluru

News Network
September 26, 2023

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The Bengaluru bandh called by farmers and Kannada organisations on Tuesday and backed by the BJP and JD(S) in protest against the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu evoked partial response, with most of the public services functioning normally, but fewer people venturing out.

'Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti,' an umbrella outfit of farmers' associations and other organisations led by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, has given the call for today's dawn-to-dusk (6 am to 6 pm) Bengaluru shutdown.

Shanthakumar and other leaders of the 'Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti were detained by the police at the Mysuru Bank circle, as they were trying to hold a protest march towards Town Hall.

Several activists of Kannada organisations were also whisked away by the police at Town Hall, as they gathered there to stage a protest.

Farmers' leaders and Kannada activists hit out at the government for allegedly using police force to curtail the protests and bandh.

Farmers and pro-Kannada organisations are likely to stage a protest at the Freedom Park, which is a designated place for such demonstrations.

City police have taken adequate security measures to respond to any violence that may happen during the protests. About 100 platoons have been deployed.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda said that prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place across the city from midnight on Monday to midnight on Tuesday in the wake of the bandh.

Also, according to existing restrictions and court orders, there is no permission for any bandh or procession in the city, he said, 'No one can forcefully implement the bandh by using force, other than in cases where someone wants to observe it voluntarily.'

Meanwhile, a Karnataka bandh, a state-wide shutdown, has been called, on September 29 by 'Kannada Okkuta', an umbrella organisation for Kannada organisations, led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj. They are not supporting today's bandh.

Bengaluru Urban district Deputy Commissioner Dayananda K A has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the city on Tuesday, in view of the bandh.

Though cab services, autos and hotels/ restaurants were seen operating, drivers and hotel operators said not many people were coming out to utilise the services.

Similar is the case with Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and Metro rail services, as the usual rush was not seen at bus and metro stations.

Ola-Uber Drivers' Association and Hotel Owners' Association have said that their services will be normal today.

They have extended support for the September 29 Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada organisations, stating that in the midst of financial difficulties, they cannot afford to lose two days of work.

Most private companies and firms, including those in the IT sector, asked their employees to work from home.

Some malls in the city have decided to remain shut. Many shops and establishments were also seen not functioning as usual in the morning hours.

The opposition BJP and JD(S) which have been targeting the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government of failing the state by releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, have supported today's bandh, and have announced that they will take part in the agitation.

With protests intensifying, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Monday had said the government will not curtail them but underlined the importance of maintaining peace.

Protests have continued in various parts of Karnataka, following the Supreme Court's refusal to interfere with orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and Regulation Committee, directing the state to release 5,000 cusecs of water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Farmers organisations and pro-Kannada outfits have been staging protests in Cauvery river basin districts Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagara, Ramanagara, Bengaluru and other parts expressing their anger and urging the state government not to release water to the neighbouring state.

Karnataka has been maintaining that it is not in a position to release water, taking into account its own need for drinking water and irrigation for standing crops in the Cauvery basin areas, as there has been water scarcity due to deficit monsoon rains.

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News Network
June 19,2024

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An alarming rise in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, along with other ill-effects of climate change have plagued the world at large in recent years. The vice-grip of extreme heat has now affected the pilgrims of Hajj -the annual Islamic pilgrimage.

According to reports by news agency AFP, Saudi diplomats have revealed that more than 550 pilgrims lost their lives while doing the hajj this year due to heat-related issues, highlighting the arduous nature of the journey, especially under this sweltering heat.

Among the deceased, at least 323 were Egyptians. One of the diplomats stated, "All of them (the Egyptians) died because of heat" - barring one, who died from injuries sustained in a minor stampede incident due to overcrowding. Egypt's foreign ministry had earlier mentioned that they are in touch with Saudi authorities to look for Egyptians who disappeared en route to Mecca. The overall death toll was derived from the Al-Muaisem hospital morgue in Makkah.

Apart from the Egyptians, about 60 Jordanians have also died during this year's Hajj.

As per data released by concerned Saudi authorities last month, Hajj is becoming more and more impacted by climate change, with temperatures in the pilgrimage area rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius every ten years. The Saudi National Meteorological Center said that temperatures around the Grand Mosque area in Makkah reached a whopping 51.8 degrees Celsius on June 17.

Currently, over 2,000 pilgrims affected by heat exhaustion are being treated by Saudi authorities, officials have said. However, neither have they updated this tally, nor disclosed any information regarding fatalities since Sunday, June 16.

The death toll during Hajj stood at around 240 (mostly from Indonesia) the previous year.

Pilgrims in Mina, outside of Makkah, were seen dousing themselves with water from their bottles, as volunteers provided them with chilled beverages and fast-melting chocolate ice cream to help them cope with the scorching heat.

The authorities have set out advisory guidelines to the pilgrims, urging them to carry umbrellas, stay hydrated, and avoid staying under the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

Many pilgrims have also claimed to have spotted lifeless bodies lying on the side of the road on their way to the Grand Mosque; ambulance services struggled to handle the unprecedented amount of emergency situations, they said.

An estimated 1.8 million pilgrims performed the Hajj this year, with 1.6 million coming from outside Saudi. A huge number of pilgrims seek to complete the Hajj through unofficial means every year because they are unable to afford the heavy expenses required to obtain official Hajj visas.

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News Network
June 8,2024

Mangaluru: Commissioner of Police Anupam Agrawal has directed school and college heads to strictly adhere to the Karnataka Motor Vehicles (Conditions for Vehicles Engaged in Transport of School Children) Rules 2012 and submit a compliance report.

Chairing a meeting with heads of schools and colleges, Schoolchildren Safety Committee members, and school vehicle owners on Friday, the commissioner also proposed changing school and college timings to facilitate smoother traffic flow in the city.

Emphasizing the importance of adherence to traffic rules by students and parents who drop children off at schools, the commissioner highlighted the need to raise awareness among students and their parents about the safety of children in school vehicles. He stressed that drivers should avoid overloading vehicles and refrain from using shrill horns. "Action will be taken against vehicle owners for violating the rules," he warned.

The commissioner suggested measures to reduce vehicle density on the roads during the start and end of class hours. "Parking space should be arranged within school premises for school vehicles to facilitate safe boarding and alighting of students. If no parking space is available, arrangements should be made to provide parking within the campus as soon as possible," he directed school heads.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Shocking details have emerged from the probe into the murder of a man who allegedly made derogatory comments against the friend and co-star of leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy (33) drew the wrath of Darshan for making lewd comments against Pavithra Gowda on her social media posts.

"It was Pavithra who instigated Darshan to punish Renukaswamy. Accordingly, the plan was hatched," they said.

Renukaswamy hailed from Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga and worked with a pharmacy company.

"Darshan engaged the Chitradurga unit of Darshan Fan Club Convenor Raghavendra alias Raghu, who obtained all information about Renukaswamy." Renukaswamy's wife Sahana said Raghavendra picked up her husband on Friday night from near their house.

The victim was abducted and taken to a shed in Kamakshipalya area in Bengaluru, the sources said.

"Darshan beat up Renukaswamy with a belt. After he fell unconscious, his accomplices thrashed him with sticks. Further, they threw him against a wall, which proved fatal," they said adding there were multiple bone fractures all over his body.

After he died, his body was dumped in a stormwater drain.

A food delivery boy who noticed dogs eating a human body alerted the police.

When the police were working on the case, two accused approached Kamakshipalya police and "confessed" to having killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As the investigation progressed, police found out Darshan and Pavithra's involvement.

Darshan, his friend and film actress Pavithra Gowda, and 11 others were arrested in connection with Renukaswamy's murder on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old actor has been remanded to six days' police custody by a court. 

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