1 Died In Bengaluru Police firing

  • Protests over Cauvery continue
  • Karnataka tense, TN calm

Bengaluru: One person was killed and another was injured when the police opened fire at Rajagopalnagar area in Bengaluru on Monday evening. Arson and vandalism marred normal life in the streets of the Software capital and on the Mysuru highway. The people were enraged at the orders of the Supreme Court asking Karnataka to release more water from Cauvery to Tamil Nadu. The police had to resort to firing when the violent mobs attacked police personnel.

The mobs set about 30 buses of a private company whose registered office is in Salem in Tamil Nadu. The agitators mouthed slogans like “We will give blood but not Cauvery water”.  The severity of protests and the scale of damage to the properties had pushed the Congress government in Karnataka headed by Siddaramaiah and the police into a tight corner where they were forced to plunge into action to control the unruly mob. Appeals by the chief minister and home minister did not have any sobering effect on the angry crowds. The Supreme Court had earlier in the day commented that ‘the citizens cannot become law unto themselves’.

As a precautionary measure, the government got schools and colleges closed and section 144 clamped to control violence. Metro service was also stopped for some time. Thousands of policemen in riot gear were deployed across the city and CRPF jawans were also pressed into service. A young man who hails from Tamil Nadu was thrashed in the morning by a mob. This had retaliatory effect in Tamil Nadu where  mobs attacked Woodlands hotel owned by Kannadigas. Both the chief ministers had appealed to each other to protect people from their States. First it was Siddaramaiah who asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to prevent any untoward incidents against people of Karnataka origin living in Tamil Nadu. Similar appeal was made by Jayalalitaa to Karnataka chief minister.

People got worked up when Supreme Court asked Karnataka government last week to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu daily for ten days in a row. People in the Cauvery basin, specially in Mandya and Mysuru districts had complained  that there was inadequate water in Cauvery and they find it difficult to fulfill the needs of drinking water leave alone water for irrigation. Under these circumstances, argue the agitators in Karnataka, it would be unfair to ask them to release water for Tamil Nadu. The SC modified its earlier order and reduced the quantum to 10,000 cusecs per day. But the farmers and others became angry and uncontrollable.

While there were scenes of burnings, attacks and police lathicharge in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, the situation in Tamil Nadu was under control. No major incidents were reported.

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