Mandya boils over water release
District bandh today; holiday declared for schools, colleges
The release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from Thursday night has triggered widespread protests in Mandya district.
Zilla Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti President and former MP G Made Gowda and 50 others were arrested and taken away by the police when they tried to lay a siege to the office of the deputy commissioner. The protesters were on a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office since morning, urging the State government to immediately stop release of water.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) activists were stopped at the entrance of Krishnaraja Sagar dam by the police after they tried to a lay siege to the reservoir. KRRS leader K C Puttannaiah and others were arrested and, later released.
At Indavalu in Mandya taluk, protesters blocked the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway. Farmers and KRRS workers blocked the highway at Gajjalagere in Maddur taluk. Protests were also staged in Srirangapatna and Pandavapura.
Made Gowda gave a call for Mandya bandh on Saturday (December 8). A meeting has been called on Saturday to chart the future course of action, depending on the decision of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee, he added. Following the bandh call, Deputy Commissioner B N Krishnaiah has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in the district on Saturday.
Made Gowda also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar for “betraying” the hopes of the people of the Cauvery basin. He urged the opposition leaders to move a no confidence motion against the government at the on-going Assembly session in Belgaum. He said the voting would prove who are the leaders truly supporting the State.
Bus services hit
The transport services between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has been affected as the two states have suspended inter-state bus services. Police are maintaining a strict vigil at the inter-state border, off Chamarajanagar. Daily 30 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses plied to various destinations in Tamil Nadu via Punajuru, Male Mahadeshwara Betta and Bandipur. KSRTC is incurring a loss of Rs five lakh every day due suspension of service, said B V Srinivas, senior KSRTC official from Chamarajnagar district.