Violence erupted in parts of Karnataka on Monday after the Supreme Court directed the state government to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu every day till September 20, modifying its earlier order of 15,000 cusecs water till September 16.
Karnataka home minister G Parameshwar said security was stepped up after reports that a group of protesters had set afire two trucks with Tamil Nadu registration plates at Nice Road on the Bengaluru-Mysuru road and at Attibele near the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border on National Highway 7.
Pro-Kannada activists, led by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike members, protested in the Bengaluru against attacks on Kannadigas in Chennai and damage to Karnataka registered buses earlier in the day.
A group of armed protesters threw a petrol bomb at a hotel owned by a person from Karnataka in Chennai’s Mylapore area early on Monday.
Police said the New Woodlands Hotel was attacked at around 3.15am by protesters who barged in and smashed window panes. The group was armed with wooden sticks and iron rods.
WATCH: Pro-Kannada activists set a vehicle on fire in Bengaluru during Protest over Cauvery water issue pic.twitter.com/FSMmpQ0FzT— ANI (@ANI_news) September 12, 2016
The attackers left a note in Tamil, which said: “If Tamilians living in Karnataka continue to be assaulted, their (Kannadigas) businesses here will continue to suffer. There are Kannadigas living here as well. Be warned.”
No one was injured in the attack, a police official said.
Volunteers of a Tamil fringe outfit barged into a Karnataka Bank branch in Puducherry and created ruckus, protesting against the ongoing agitations in the neighbouring state, opposing the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, police said.
Farmers in both states have complained of severe water shortages.
The Cauvery River, which originates in Karnataka and flows into Tamil Nadu, has been the source of a bitter water dispute for decades. Karnataka told the court it did not have enough water reserves to share.
In Bengaluru, Parameshwar told reporters: “We have intensified security and stepped up vigil in Bengaluru to ensure peace and maintain law and order. Additional police forces have been deployed in localities where pre-dominantly Tamils live, for their protection.”
Platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police have been rushed to Mandya and Mysuru for deployment on the state highways and protecting reservoirs in the river basin from being attacked by angry protestors over the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
“I appeal to the people, especially the protesters, not to attack anyone or damage public property, including buses, cars and transport vehicles,” Parameshwar said.
Expressing disappointment over the Supreme Court’s Monday order, the minister said though the state had respect for the court, the government would again approach it to modify the latest order due to water shortage in the reservoirs.
“We are not happy with the latest order. But we have to respect the order. We will again ask the court to modify its order, as we are not in a position to release any more water due to the distress situation in the state,” Parameshwar said.
Karnataka filed an interim petition on Saturday seeking modification of the apex court’s September 5 order directing the state to release 15,000 cusecs daily from September 7 for 10 days (up to September 16).
“We have petitioned the court to modify its order and accept our offer to release 10,000 cusecs daily for six days instead of 15,000 cusecs for 10 days, as we need water for drinking purpose in the region till June next,” Paremeshwar added.