K'taka bandh unlikely to hit normal life in Bengaluru

Karnataka Bandh unlikely to hit normal life in Bengaluru, districts

A general view of Bengaluru. Credit: DH

The statewide bandh on Saturday called by pro-Kannada organisations, condemning the formation of Maratha Development Corporation, will partially affect normal life with auto rickshaws and taxi services are likely to continue while essential services will remain unaffected.

Leaders of two auto rickshaw unions and representative of taxi owners and drivers union said they have given “full support” to the shut down call. Meenakshi Sundaram of Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union and C Sampath of Adarsh Auto Rickshaw Union said drivers had expressed their solidarity with the pro-Kannada groups.

However, two leaders representing taxis, including those working with Ola and Uber, as well as auto rickshaw unions said thousands of auto rickshaw drivers were not in a position to remain off the road.

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Another leader said those working with aggregators will not stop work. “The economic hardship created by Covid-19 is such that the drivers are in no mood to let go of a day’s earning. There will be taxis but the numbers might be less,” he said.

In a release, the Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels’ Association said they will only extend “ethical support” but “will not shut down” operations.

Security heightened

Meanwhile, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that no organisation had sought permission to hold a bandh and that they too have not granted any permission. Security has been heightened in the city to prevent any untoward incidents, he added.

Over 15,000 police security personnel, including 12 DCPs, ACPs, Hoysala vehicles, 33 KSRP and 32 CAR battalions, will be deployed across the city to prevent untoward incidents.

Pratap Reddy, ADGP, Law and Order, said that elaborate security arrangements have been made in all districts and an instruction has been given to all superintendents of police to beef up security in respective districts. KSRP and CAR platoons are already on ground to handle any situation, he added.