Stray violence mars peaceful shutdown

Stray violence mars peaceful shutdown

Stray violence mars peaceful shutdown
A few incidents of violence marred what was otherwise a peaceful day of shutdown in Bengaluru over the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. On Friday afternoon, activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) threw stones at an LED signboard on the premises of a church in JJ Nagar.

The St Peter’s Church, also known as Royapuram church, had put up an LED signboard with verses of the Bible displayed in four languages, including Tamil. The protesters took umbrage at this and pelted the signboard with stones. By the time police could arrive, the protesters had vanished. Police cordoned off the area. There was no other damage to the church.

In another incident, a 29-year-old man slit his abdomen while raising slogans at the Freedom Park. Prabhu, a resident of Cholorupalya on Magadi Road, arrived at the Freedom Park and started raising slogans. He then took out a knife and slit his abdomen, proclaiming that he would rather give his blood but not the Cauvery water. Fellow protesters called the police who arrived at the spot and took Prabhu to the St Martha’s Hospital. He is said to be out of danger.

Activists of pro-Kannada organisations vandalised a few nameboards of MORE supermarket in Basavanagudi. The protesters found the housekeeping staff inside and assumed that the store was open. They vandalised the nameboards. Police pacified the protesters but they did not budge until the supermarket downed the shutters. The office of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) at the Shanthinagar bus stand was also attacked. Around 15 activists of a pro-Kannada organisation found some employees working inside the office. They barged in and damaged the furniture. The jurisdictional Wilson Garden police were alerted and rushed to the office. The protesters argued with the police when they asked them to leave.

Police insisted that the protesters cannot stop people from working, but they didn’t relent. The staff closed the office and left. Protesters tried to enter the Manyata Tech Park but were stopped at the entrance. They burnt Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s effigy and asked the tech park management to lock down. Nearly 16,000 police personnel were out on the streets to maintain law and order.

200 people detained
Acting on specific intelligence reports, police took 596 anti-social elements into preventive custody on Thursday night. Bengaluru Police Commissioner N S Megharikh even summoned KRV president T A Narayan Gowda on the eve of the bandh and warned him against his cadre indulging in violence.

During the day, police detained nearly 200 protesters at the Kempegowda International Airport, railway stations, Mysore Bank Circle, Freedom Park and other public places. Nearly 36 KRV women activists were also detained when they attempted to barge into the airport in the morning. Megharikh said security would be tightened with Ganesha idols’ immersion and Bakrid festival coming up in the days to come.

The members of Advocates Association, Bangalore, boycotted the court proceedings and took out a procession from the City Civil Court to KR Circle.
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