Farmers demand more relief

Farmers demand more relief

Fulfil demand: Congress leaders being arrested  in Bangalore on Tuesday.  DH photoAs a result, vehicles moved at snail's pace on Basaveshwara Circle, Raj Bhavan Circle, Queen's Statue, Siddalingaiah Circle, Town Hall, Richmond Road Flyover, etc and the traffic police had a tough time in getting the situation under control.

Venting their ire over the "inadequate" compensation doled out to the flood victims of North Karnataka, farmers from Gadag, Haveri and Dharwad districts had started their rally from Anand Rao Circle. It passed through Freedom Park near Maharani's College before assembling near Vidhana Soudha.

The protesters, led by Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, RV Deshpande, DK Shivakumar, HK Patil, VS Ugrappa, Krishna Byre Gowda, BC Patil, and Nazir Ahmad and others, appeared determined to enter the seat of power. However, as soon as they reached Gopala Gowda Circle, the police took them into preventive custody.

The agitators, however, didn't relent and insisted on submitting memoranda to Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde and Chairman of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) Justice S R Nayak. They budged only after their demands were fulfiled.

"They wanted to proceed towards Vidhana Soudha via K R Circle, but their bid was foiled," said BA Muthanna, DCP (East Traffic).

Meanwhile, the drama continued in front of the Vidhana Soudha, with Leader of the Opposition S Siddaramiah declaring before he was taken into custody: “The CM is evading a reply to give to the farmers. He could have at least met them. We will continue the agitation even if they take all of us into custody.” The Congress workers and farmers raised slogans against the ruling government for being unable to meet their demands of adequate relief. “Even as there was generous contribution from the citizens of the State, none of it has been utilised for the benefit of the farmers who have lost their livelihood,” said Siddaramaiah. 

There was heavy pushing and jostling all across the area as the Police shoved the farmers into vans and clear the area outside Vidhan Soudha. People were seen sitting on the street outside the legislature agitating against the government for their “no response”.

The chaos resulted in uncertainty among the motorists around 4 pm who were passing along Ambedkar Veedhi to reach their destinations. Faced with a harrowing time in dealing with the situation, the police diverted the vehicles through inside the Cubbon Park.

Nonetheless, the situation could improve only marginally. Vehicles were piled up along the entire stretch throwing the arrangements in peril. Finally, around 5:30 pm, the traffic was restored to normalcy and the police heaved a sigh of relief.

In all, 205 persons, including the Congress bigwigs, were taken into preventive custody.
"We took the protesters to three different places, viz. CAR Grounds in Adugodi, Ulsoor Police Station and CAR Headquarters where they were released around 6:30 pm," MR Poojar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) told Deccan Herald.

Hundreds of the flood-affected people from north Karnataka led by the Congress leaders on Tuesday staged a protest in front of Vidhana Soudha, against what they termed to be the failure of the State Government to provide them adequate relief.

Nearly 5,000 affected people, mainly farmers from Haveri, Gadag and Dharwad districts took out a rally from the Freedom Park off Seshadri road to Vidhana Soudha defying the prohibitory order. The protest was largely peaceful.

The protesters also staged a dharna in front of Vidhana Soudha as part of the protest.
Earlier, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and members of State Human Rights Commission received a memorandum from the protesters at Freedom park. The Lokayukta assured them that he will give appropriate directions to the Government, based on their memorandum.

The Congress leaders alleged that the Government was yet to provide compensation to a majority of the affected people. The officials are demanding bribes to issue cheques, they alleged.

H K Patil said Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has only given a “bundle of promises” none of which was being implemented. If the Government continued to turn a blind eye to their demands, the agitation will be intensified, he warned.

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