Cops cane farmers trying to enter KRS dam

Cops cane farmers trying to enter KRS dam

Cauvery imbroglio: Bandh total in Cauvery basin areas, protests intensify in Mandya

Cops cane farmers trying to enter KRS dam

 The police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse protesters who broke the barricades and tried to enter the KRS dam area at Srirangapatna in Mandya district on Friday during the Karnataka bandh.

Three farmers jumped into the Cauvery and another farmer tried to consume pesticide near the KRS dam during the bandh which was total in the Cauvery basin districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar. The protests were largely peaceful except for a few incidents of altercation between protesters and security personnel. 

Thousands of farmers reached the KRS dam and staged a protest near the downstream. When they tried to enter the dam area, the police stopped them. When the farmers broke the barricades, the police caned the protesters and also lobbed tear gas shells to disperse them. 

A couple of farmers jumped into the canal to escape the police caning and swam safely to the other bank. Several persons injured in the melee were treated at a local hospital. Some of them were shifted to KR Hospital in Mysuru. The police took hundreds of protesters into custody and released them later. The farmers who jumped into the river during the protest have been identified as Ramesh of Kyathanahalli, Ningegowda of Chandre and Abhi of Hiremarali. They were rescued by the Fire and Emergency Services personnel. When Kumar of M Bettahalli tried to consume pesticide, the police snatched the bottle from him.

Protests continue

Women protesters blocked Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) B K Singh’s car and gheraoed him near Maddur. Protests continued in different parts of Mandya district. Farmers blocked roads, cooked and consumed food on roads, took out rallies, formed human chains and set tyres on fire. Protesters burnt effigies of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, tonsured their heads and held her mock funeral. Protesters stopped the Tirupati-Chamarajanagar train for sometime near the Kukkarahalli Lake.

Actor Ninasam Sathish participated in a road blockade in Maddur. Nirmalanandanatha Swami, the seer of  Adichunchanagiri mutt took part in a protest at Nagamangala. 

Bebi mutt seer Trinetra Mahantha Swami participated in a demonstration in Srirangapatna. Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s daughter-in-law Bhavani Revanna met the JD(S) party workers, who have been staging an indefinite protest in Mandya since Wednesday. A Kannada activist slit his wrist as a mark of protest in Mandya. Protesters torched a motorcycle at Holenarsipur in Hassan district. The protests will continue in Mandya district on Saturday.

Chief minister defends police action

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday defended police lathicharge on protesters near the KRS dam saying it was necessary to disperse farmers who tried to barge into the reservoir, reports DHNS from Bengaluru.

“The police had no intention to cane the protesters. They (the police) had no option but to resort to mild caning in order to disperse farmers who tried to barge into the KRS reservoir,” he told reporters when his reaction was sought on the police action that drew criticism from various quarters. Siddaramaiah thanked the people of the state for observing a peaceful bandh. “People have cooperated in ensuring a peaceful bandh. They have expressed their feeling for the injustice meted out to the state. The government will continue its efforts to protect the interests of the state,” he added. 

On the demand for removing Fali Nariman as head of the legal team representing the state in the Supreme Court, Siddaramaiah said the question of removing Nariman did not arise. Nariman has been representing Karnataka on the river water sharing issues in the Supreme Court for the past 32 years. On the Mahadayi river water sharing issue, he said he has already spoken to his Maharashtra counterpart over phone and urged him to extend his cooperation in holding negotiations for resolving the issue. He said he will soon speak to his Goa counterpart in this regard. 

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