Taking suo motu cognizance of reports of large-scale violent protests in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery issue, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued notices to the states and sought a report.
Expressing anguish over the incidents, the commission observed that it appears from the national television channels that civil and police authorities in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu remained mere onlookers. It said the states took no steps to stop the hooligans from indulging in illegal acts that played with the life and liberty of the citizens, the commission said in a statement.
“The authorities should have anticipated and prepared themselves to meet the emergency situations in view of the sensitivity of water sharing issue faced by people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The police and civil authorities woke up to the situation only after the large-scale physical violence and destruction of public and private property. After the event, imposing curfew further added to the denial of right of access to hospitals and other emergency facilities for three days”, the statement from the commission said.
Taking serious exception to the violation of human rights due to the apathetic attitude of the people holding public office and their lack of accountability towards people’s life and safety, the commission has issued notices to the governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, through their chief secretaries and the director generals of police, calling for reports on the number of persons injured and destruction of public and private property during these protests.
Jaya orders release of water
Amid statewide protests over the Cauvery issue, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday ordered the release of water from the Mettur reservoir on September 20 for delta farmers to carry out agricultural activities, DHNS reports from Chennai.
The shutters were not opened on the scheduled date of June 12 since the water level had not touched 90 ft.
Following a high-level meeting, Jayalalithaa said even though the present level in the dam is 84.76 ft, water will be released in the hope that the northeast monsoon would be normal.
Stating that Karnataka is releasing water following the Supreme Court’s order, Jayalalithaa pointed out that as on September 14, the state had received 8.92 tmcft of water.
Delta areas like Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and some parts of Salem produce 25 lakh tonnes of paddy every year, with kuruvai and samba cultivation in about 20 lakh acres.
Earlier, the AIADMK government had announced a Rs 64.30-crore package for the delta farmers in six districts, besides providing 12 hours of continuous power supply.