Meeting to prevent bandh fails

Meeting to prevent bandh fails

Protesters demand support from district administration

The district administration failed to convince the protesters against the Yettinahole project to withdraw the proposed voluntary district bandh on May 19.

At a meeting convened on Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim, City Police Commissioner M Chandra Sekhar and Superintendent of Police Dr Sharanappa S D tried to convince the protesters to withdraw the proposed bandh.

Vijaykumar Shetty, president of the Nethravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samithi, and others, however, demanded that the chief minister convene a meeting of experts immediately to discuss the pros and cons of the project. As a result, the parties at the meeting failed to arrive at any consensus.

The deputy commissioner said, “No one can go for forcible bandh as per the Supreme Court direction. In the recent years forcible bandh is being observed under the name of voluntary bandh. The sudden bandh call will affect students who are answering examinations. The project is being implemented by the last four governments.” He also promised to convene a meeting with the chief minister within a month if the proposed bandh is dropped.

Reacting to it, Shetty said, “A few elected representatives and higher officials are involved in making money in the name of Yettinahole project. District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai is supporting the project to save his chair or portfolio. The government that had promised to convene a meeting of the experts has failed to do so even after several months. The people of the district have come forward to hold voluntary bandh. We can not stop it at this juncture.”

He said that the state government has no clarity of stand on the Yettinahole project. “The Nethravathi will be in danger as the government has proposed to build eight weirs across the tributaries of the river. Although the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat and the Mangalore City Corporation have passed resolutions against the project, the government has shown least respect to them,” criticised Shetty.

“The district administration should support us to hold a peaceful bandh. The authorities should take precautionary measures to ensure that no untoward incidents occur during the bandh,” he urged.

Leaders M G Hegde, Satyajith Surathkal and Harikrishna Bantwal demanded a meeting with the chief minister before withdrawing the bandh. Satyajith Surathkal said that there is a conspiracy to tarnish the image of those who are protesting against Yettinahole project.

In response, the City Police Commissioner M Chandra Sekhar said, “Give us the details of such people. We will initiate action against them.” He urged the protesters to rethink over the bandh call. The leaders should ensure that there is no breach of peace during the bandh, he added.

Dr Sharanappa said that the district administration will facilitate for dialogue with the state government. “Will the bandh yield any result?” he questioned.

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