Farmers stage a protest by blocking NH 206 at Gandhi Circle, Tarikere, on Wednesday.
Farmers staged a protest by blocking the National Highway on Wednesday, enraged by the move of police personnel who have stopped tankers transporting water into Tarikere town.
The police had to resort to mild caning of the protesters to disperse them.
The protesters have alleged that Superintendent of Police K Annamalai dragged the collar of former MLA D S Suresh, who was leading the protest and have urged for the transfer of the SP.
On Tuesday, a boy died of serious injuries after a water tanker ran over him, on Lingadahalli road in the town. Following the incident, the local residents staged a stir, demanding action against water tanker owners.
On Wednesday, the police stopped tankers from supplying water from the Bhadra channel to the areca plantations in Tarikere. In the aftermath of the incident, the farmers, led by former MLA D S Suresh, staged a sudden protest by blocking NH 206 at Gandhi Circle for more than half an hour.
SP's transfer demanded
Suresh alleged that Annamalai, who arrived at the spot, not only abused the protesters using foul language, but also attempted to drag him by his shirt collar. The SP vanished from the scene as the protesters got furious by his act, Suresh added.
He further said that the areca growers are struggling to protect their crops, as the taluk is hit by drought. "The district administration has assaulted farmers who were only demanding their rights. Annamalai has tried to stifle the farmers' voices by threatening them and he should be transferred from Chikkamagaluru immediately," demanded Suresh.
DCC Bank director T L Ramesh, Dornalu Gram Panchayat president Rajeshwari, T G Manjunath, Ajay, Yashodhar, Basavaraju and Ramesh took part in the protest.
The taluk administration has now allowed the movement of tankers into Tarikere.
DYSP J J Tirumalesh said that the tankers were withheld to ensure validity of licences and also guarantee safety in the road traffic. Actions will be taken towards facilitating the movement of water tankers without disturbing the regular traffic, he promised.
"Moreover, the Police Department was not informed of the farmers' protest," said the officer.
Cops asked to cooperate with farmers
JD(S) taluk president M Narendra, lamenting on the death of the boy on Tuesday, requested the Police Department to cooperate with farmers who have been striving hard to save their crops. Water is been procured from Bhadra channel. The tanker drivers must follow safety measures, he stated in a press release.