Sporadic incidents of arson and stone pelting were reported from various parts of Karnataka overnight as the state geared up for a BJP bandh on Saturday seeking recall of Governor H R Bhardwaj, who had sanctioned prosecution of chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in corruption and land scam cases.
Though no injuries were reported, over 13 buses were damaged and partly set afire in Bangalore, Shimoga, Hassan and Belgaum as BJP activists took to the streets in the night.
BJP has planned protest rallies against the governor's move in all district headquarters during the day. In Bangalore, senior party leaders plan to take out a march to Raj Bhawan with their demand for Bhardwaj's ouster.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were clamped in Bangalore as police were deployed at strategic locations in strength to prevent any untoward incidents.
Most of the schools and colleges closed down in view of the bandh in Bangalore and other major cities of the southern state. Public transport, including government buses, came to a halt in the state capital.
The governor's sanction to prosecution – described as politically motivated by BJP - came hours after Bhardwaj refused to buckle under the pressure of the state cabinet, which had passed a resolution asking him to drop the petition filed by advocates Sirajin Bhasha and K N Balaraj.
The duo had submitted documents running into 1,700 pages and claimed the papers establish over 100 cases of nepotism, misconduct and corruption by Yeddyurappa, his two sons and some cabinet colleagues, including home minister R Ashok.
Bhardwaj has sanctioned Yeddyurappa's prosecution in an appropriate court of law for various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct, under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.