Bengaluru, Sept 23: Farmers, along with pro-Kannada outfits continued to stage protests on Saturday in Karnataka's Mandya against the Cauvery Water Management Authority's (CWMA) order to release water to neighbouring state Tamil Nadu. They laid on the ground and raised slogans demanding justice, and also formed human chains.
Protests were spread across the southern state, with members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staging demonstrations in Bengaluru and Udupi on Thursday and Friday, respectively. They also held protests in other Cauvery river basin districts including Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara, according to news agency PTI. Other districts such as Chitradurga, Ballari, Davanagere, Koppal and Vijayapura also saw protests, wherein individuals engaged in sloganeering, blocking roads, burning tyres and effigies.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists, who were headed by Praveen Shetty, even blocked a highway in Bengaluru's K R Puram. Many including Shetty were then detained by police. Some Kannada organisations also blocked the TK Halli pumping station in Mandya, which supplies water to all of Bengaluru city. Cops deployed their personnel at the spot to pacify the crowd, the agency said.
The Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti in Mandya even called for a “bandh” in the district on Saturday. This gained support by various groups and is expected to affect daily life activities including vehicular movement and business today.
Over this, the state's Home Minister, G Parameshwara, said, "There is nothing wrong with it. It is their right to protest and the government has no objection to it. But public property should not be destroyed, they should not indulge in any illegal activity and cause inconvenience to people. I appeal to them in this regard."
The minister also said police are well prepared to handle the situation in case there are any untoward incidents, and that they have been deployed near the KRS dam in Mandya in heavy numbers.
Back in the state capital, the police department heightened security around Tamil dominated areas, with police commissioner B Dayananada saying that all necessary security measures and precautions are being taken. Officers are on high alert for incidents of stone pelting on any Tamil Nadu registered buses or private vehicles, he said.