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Cauvery row: Ban continues as Karnataka mulls over legal options

india Updated: Sep 15, 2016 21:17 IST
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Riot police stand guard to prevent pro-Karnataka activists from entering a train station to stop trains in a protest against the SC ruling on Cauvery river dispute, in Bengaluru. (AP Photo)

As Karnataka government prepares itself for another round of legal battle with Tamil Nadu over the raging Cauvery dispute, police decided on Thursday to continue prohibitory orders in the violence-hit city where normalcy has been restored.

As a preventive measure, Section 144 has been extended  till September 25 midnight in Bengaluru, senior police officials said, adding that life is  normal everywhere.

Prohibitory orders were clamped on Monday after violence erupted, with dozens of buses and lorries with Tamil Nadu number plate being set on fire as mobs let out their fury over reports of some incidents of attack on Kannadigas and their property in the neighbouring state.

As the violence flared up soon after the Supreme court gave its amended order, directing Karnataka to release 12,000  cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till September 20, police  had clamped curfew in 16 police station limits of Bengaluru  City, which was lifted on Wednesday.

Despite the call given by pro-Kannada organisations for a “rail roko” on Thursday to protest against release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, train services remained normal across the state.

In the city, police stopped protesters who were marching to a railway station mid way.

Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj and several other Kannada Okkoota (federation) members were detained by the police.

Speaking to reporters before being detained, Nagaraj  said, “Tomorrow, they have called a Tamil Nadu bandh, against which we will observe black day across the state. Pro-Kannada organisations across the state will hold demonstrations with black flags in front of deputy commissioner offices.”

Due to heightened security, the rail roko was unsuccessful in Mandya, Mysuru, Hubballi, Shivamogga and other places where protesters tried to enter railway stations were stopped and detained by the police.

In Kolar, protesters managed to stop the Kolar-Bangalore  passenger train for some time.

Meanwhile, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday held a consultation meeting with retired judges of high court and  advocate generals to discuss the course of Karnataka’s legal battle in order to get justice in the Cauvery water sharing case.

Former judges Rajendra Babu, J Rama Jois, J Vishwanatha  Shetty, J A J Sadashiva, J Kumar, and retired advocate generals BV Acharya, Ashok Haranahalli, Ravivarma Kumar were present in the meeting along with the ministers and the legal team.

The chief minister also wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa, requesting her to ensure protection of the lives and properties of Kannada-speaking people in view of the bandh to be observed there on Friday.

Speaking at an event in Gauribidanuru, Siddaramaih said  the state government would continue its legal battle and was  committed to protecting the interests of the people.