Bandh over Cauvery issue paralyses large parts of Karnataka

06 Sep 2016


Life across Mandya Karnataka was affected on Tuesday due to a bandh called by the Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti (MZRHS) against discharge of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court's direction.

Traffic between Bengaluru and Mysuru was drastically affected by the bandh.

Members of the MZRHS and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and Kannada activists blocked traffic at 20 places between Srirangapatna and Maddur taluk on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. Sources in the police department said vehicular movement was blocked for over 45 minutes on the Mysuru-KRS highway and also on other highways at various taluks.

Shops, commercial establishments, film theatres and hotels remained closed in support of the bandh. Attendance in government offices was thin, police officials said.

As agitators staged demonstrations on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, the Ramanagaram police installed advisory boards at Bidadi, Ramanagaram and Channapatna asking motorists to avoid the highway. They also diverted traffic to Mysuru via Kanakapura, Malavalli and Bannur.

The Mandya police detained several agitators when they tried to ransack some government offices near the KSRTC bus stand in the town.

Members of the KRRS and Mekedatu Horata Samithi staged demonstrations on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway near the KSRTC bus stand in Ramanagaram.

Farmers' organisations staged demonstrations in different parts of Mysuru on Tuesday to protest the Supreme Court order, and KSRTC bus service to Bengaluru and Mandya was suspended while advocates boycotted court proceedings.

Various farmers' organisations gathered in front of the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) in Mysuru to voice protest against the discharge of water to Tamil Nadu in the wake of the apex court's ruling.

Farmers led by Kabini Hitharakshana Vedike leader Kurubur Shanthakumar staged a road blockade on the road leading to Nanjangud and burnt an effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

However, police tightened security in different parts of Mysuru on Tuesday.

KSRTC officials said bus service to Mandya and Bengaluru was suspended after 11 am in view of protests breaking out in Mandya and farmers blocking the roads. "Though we diverted the buses to Bengaluru via Kanakapura, the buses encountered road blocks on the alternative route as well. Hence, we were forced to suspended bus service to Bengaluru and Mandya", said a KSRTC official.

Several private vehicle drivers from Mysuru, who tried to reach Bengaluru via Kanakapura too had to return to Mysuru in view of the road blockades enroute.

Meanwhile, the Advocates Association in Mysuru boycotted court proceedings today. The advocates, who gathered for a demonstration outside the court complex, decided to stay away from the proceedings on Tuesday to register their protest.

President of the Advocates' Association of Mysuru Chandramouli found fault with the feedback provided by state government officials to senior counsel Fali S Nariman, who is arguing Karnataka's case in the Supreme Court.

"The state government's home work is not good. The feedback provided to the counsel is not adequate," Chandramouli said while speaking to The Hindu. "The state government should obtain the opinion of senior counsels in the High Court and include the same in the feedback provided to the counsel arguing Karnataka's case in the apex court."

In contrast, he said the Tamil Nadu government conducts good homework before its officials proceed to Delhi and presents its case. "It is because of the failure of the State Government that Karnataka has received such an unscientific direction," he said.

Under the aegis of the Advocates Association in Mysuru, around 500 lawyers will file separate review petitions before the High Court. "We will send the review petitions by post,, he said.

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