Cauvery crisis: Prime Minister Expresses Pain
Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the happenings, and urged the both states to maintain restrain. The Protests escalated in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on Monday after SC’s judgement, asking Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 20. Earlier, the SC had ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs a day to alleviate the plight of farmers of the neighbouring state.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu went up in flames as a decades old dispute over the sharing of Cauvery river water turned violent, leaving 1 dead, 1 injured and dozens of vehicles and property damaged.
Section 144 (Curfew) was imposed in 16 police station limits in Bengaluru city after clashes erupted as tensions escalated. Elaborated security arrangements are in place with over 15,000 policemen being deployed. Police officials said Vijaynagar, Rajgopal Nagar, RR Nagara, Kamakshipalya, Byatarayanpura Kengeri, RMC Yard, Magadi Road, Rajajinagar, Mahalakshmi Layout, Peenya, KP Agrahara, Chandra layout, Jnanabharathi, Yeshwanathapura and Nandini Layout are under curfew, according to the reports.
Mobs burnt Tamil Nadu registered buses and trucks and vandalized shops in the city. About 2 dozen buses are set on fire at a bus depot which is 17 km from Bengaluru. Later that day, large gatherings were banned in Bengaluru. Most colleges, schools and some offices were closed early, metro services were stopped as a precaution. Karnataka had stopped buses heading to Tamil Nadu and the police were positioned alongside the border to warn vehicles against entering that state.
Following this there were also protests in Tamil Nadu. 5 tourist vehicles from Karnataka, including 2 buses, were damaged by the protesters in Rameswaram which is located in southern Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, in a letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa, urge to take action against those involved in the violence against Kannada speaking people in her state.
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa too wrote to her Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah, seeking protection for Tamil speaking people and their properties.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up both the chief ministers, and assured them all the central assistance in handling law and order situation.
The violence has begun in the morning after SC turned down plea made by Karnataka to temporarily stop the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka had argued in the court that Tamil Nadu claims of agony are false, and that it (Karnataka) hardly had enough water even for drinking due to poor rain. Tamil Nadu, says its farmers are in desperate need of the water for the second seasonal crop of the year. Karnataka, says Tamil Nadu has already completed one crop cycle, and is now unfairly seeking water for another crop cycle, whereas its own farmers are struggling.
Cauvery river flows through southern Karnataka and then into Tamil Nadu. It has been a point of conflict between the 2 states for decades. Its water was originally divided according to the centuries old agreements. In the year 1990, the central government created a tribunal to examine the conflicts. In the year 2007, the tribunal delivered its verdict on how the Cauvery river water should be shared between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala. The last time the SC had intervened to order Karnataka to increase the supply of water to Tamil Nadu was 4 years ago.