Farmers enter Cauvery waters, stage protest

Farmers enter Cauvery waters, stage protest

Raitha Sangha members led by farmer leader K S Nanjundegowda, staged a ‘Jal Satyagraha’ by entering the Cauvery River near Srirangapatna on Wednesday.The members, who gathered near Wellesley Bridge went deep into the river and shouted slogans against the state government for “succumbing to pressure” and releasing water to Tamil Nadu. They stayed in the water for more than an hour, despite the heavy flow in the river.

They pointed out that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had recently assured that water would not be released at any cost, has now decided otherwise, thereby betraying the farmers. They demanded a compensation of Rs 50,000 per acre to the farmers facing crop loss.

On the other hand, farmers took to Bengaluru-Mysuru highway at 7 in the morning and set tyres on fire. The members of various organisations, including Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Autorickshaw Drivers and Owners Association, Jaya Karnataka and Goods Vehicles Association gathered at the main circle in the town and began the protest.

They were joined by hundreds of people from neighbouring villages by 10 am. Discarded tyres and wooden logs were set afire. The advocates, who boycotted the
court proceedings for the second day, also joined the protest. Streetplays, explaining about the effects of the SC judgement, were performed.

Mayor gheraoed
Mysuru Mayor B L Bhyrappa, who visited the Belagola pump house in Srirangapatna taluk, was gheraoed by the protesters. The mayor requested the protesters not to disrupt the drinking water supply to Mysuru. They demanded that Mysureans should immediately jump into protests in support of the farmers and also stage a protest in front of the chief minister’s house in Mysuru.

They said that they would not allow water to be supplied to Mysuru city till their demands were met. The mayor’s efforts to convince the protesters went futile. Vehicular traffic between Mysuru and KRS was stopped completely. The agitators were seen cooking and serving food on the road itself.

Offices shut
The protesters demanded closure of the taluk office, which led to an argument between them and Tahsildar M Krishna. As the tahsildar did not agree, the protesters were adamant that the staffers be sent out and the office be closed.

“If there is no water, there is no need for government and government offices,” they said. They forced the BSNL office, post office, BEO’s office, Taluk Panchayat office and other government offices to close down.
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