Karnataka bandh today: Section 144 imposed in Mandya district; schools, colleges shut. Top updates
Karnataka Bandh Updates: The pro-Kannada group and farmers' organisations called for a state bandh to protest against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu
Two days after Bengaluru witnessed a partial shutdown over the Cauvery river water dispute with Tamil Nadu, a state-wide bandh has been called in Karnataka on Friday. The bandh, called by the 'Kannada Okkuta' - a blanket organisation of pro-Kannada groups - will be in effect for 12 hours starting from 6 am to 6 pm. (CHECK LIVE UPDATES HERE)
Here are the latest updates on Karnata bandh:
- The pro-Kannada group and farmers' organisations have called for a state-wide bandh to protest against the release of Cauvery river water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. In view of this, the Karnataka Police has deployed extra force across the state to tackle the situation and avoid any law and order issues.
- The protesters are set to take out a massive protest procession from Town Hall to Freedom Park in Bengaluru, among other places in the state. Earlier on Monday, a pro-Kannada group ‘Kanadda Chaluvali’ - led by Vatal Nagaraj - stood resolute in their call for a statewide bandh and threatened to block national highways and airports. “We will protest in front of the Raj Bhavan,” Nagaraj added.
- In view of the state-wide shutdown, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been imposed in Karnataka's Mandya district.
- The Bengaluru administration has declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the city for the day. “As Karnataka bandh has been declared by various organisations, a holiday has been declared for all schools and colleges in Bengaluru city in the interest of students,” said KA Dayananda, Bengaluru city district deputy commissioner.
- According to reports, autorickshaws and hail-riders associations in Karnataka are also supporting the bandh. “Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union and Ola Uber Drivers and Owners’ Association (OUDOA) are supporting the bandh. We will take out a rally from Nayandahalli to the Freedom Park,” its president Tanveer Pasha told the news agency PTI.
- Services likely to be closed: All educational institutions, private cab services, shopping malls, and movie theatres.
- Services that will be functional: All KSRTC, BMTC, and other public transport services, banks, and emergency services like ambulances, pharma vehicles, hospitals, and medical stores.
- The opposition BJP and JD(S) have also extended their support to the bandh.
- On Thursday, members of ‘Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Swabhimani Sene’ interrupted actor Siddharth's press conference who was promoting his upcoming film ‘Chikku’ in Bengaluru, and demanded he leave the venue, saying, “it is not an appropriate time for him to do that as Tamil Nadu was demanding Cauvery River water from Karnataka.”
- A group of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) activists also held a massive protest in Bengaluru on Thursday against the state MPs and the Siddaramaiah government over the Cauvery river water issue. The protesters were heard shouting slogans like ‘Cauvery is ours’.
What is the Cauvery river water issue?
The Cauvery river water dispute between the two southern states - Tamil Nadu and Karnataka - has been going on for decades. The issue flared up recently after an order from the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) asking Karnataka to release 5000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 15 days.
According to the Karnataka government, they are in no position to release the water since the lower rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area, including regions in Kerala, resulted in insufficient inflow into its reservoirs. However, the Tamil Nadu government is saying that the river is a shared resource and it cannot be deprived of its share.
Notably, the Cauvery river originates in the Karnataka region of Talakaveri and flows through Tamil Nadu before entering the Bay of Bengal.