One person was killed, while some others were injured in police firing in Bengaluru on September 12 night, as Karnataka was getting ripped apart by violence over Cauvery water sharing issue over the past few days.
Protesting over the Cauvery issue, a 32-year-old man allegedly jumped off the third floor of a building in west Bengaluru on September 13 and succumbed to his injuries.
So far 300 persons have been arrested. More arrests are likely to follow, as the police have launched a manhunt to arrest more protesters.
With the police tightening its stranglehold on protesters, the state is getting a semblance of normalcy back. The BMTC buses have resumed their services.
After monitoring the situation on September 13, the Karanataka Home Minister said the protests ran out of control with some lumpen elements joining them. “We will find them once the arrest process is over,” he added.
Reacting for the first time since the Cauvery violence shook Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I appeal to the people of the two states to display sensitivity and also to keep in mind their civic responsibilities.”
He said the Cauvery issue can only be solved legally. Breaking law is not an alternative. “Violence can never be the solution to any problem. In a democracy, solutions are found only through restraint and mutual dialogue,” he tweeted.
On September 13 evening, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressing a media after emerging from a Cabinet meeting over the protests, said the Prime Minister has been asked to intervene. “I have asked the PM to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa as well. The Supreme Court order is hard to follow, but we will follow it.” He urged the people not to take law into their hands.
Earlier, after Karnataka’s appeal to freeze the September 5 order on the release of water was declined, protesters came out on the streets in their hundreds in Bengaluru, burning vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration numbers. The large-scale violence literally stopped all vehicular movement on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.
Seeing the scale of violence on September 12, many schools were closed for the day in the city. Public transport was reduced and Metro services were stopped on September 13 afternoon.
Prohibitory orders were also clamped in Mysuru, areas around four Cauvery reservoirs, and Pandavapura in Mandya district. Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure will be in force until September 14 following the protests across Bengaluru and Karnataka.
Traffic diversions have been put in place for Eid al-Adha (Bakrid) celebrations. Traffic has been diverted in areas such as Shivaji Nagar, Bilal Mosque, Bannerghatta Road and Tannery Road. Cremations, medical and emergency services are free from these restraints.
As a precautionary measure, the police have imposed curfew in 16 police station limits in the city including, Rajgopal Nagar, Kamkshipalya, Byatarayanpura, RK Agrahara, Rajajinagar, RMC Yard among others.
Pro-Tamil outfits attacked some Karnataka-registered vehicles. Buses from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka were called off, Tamil Nadu Armed Police personnel were deployed along the inter-state border and security was given to big offices and factories owned by Karnataka government and private sector.
At the same time, compensation worth Rs10 lakh has been announced by the state government to the youth killed in police firing on September 12 night.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the Prime Minister should intervene in the issue and bring law and order to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Talking to reporters, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer MK Stalin said the Prime Minister should call a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to resolve the Cauvery dispute.
DMK president M Karunanidhi was for an all-party meeting on this issue. He was also for meeting between Jayalalithaa and Siddaramaiah. Even now it is not late, he added.
Asked about Siddaramaiah’s accusation that Karnataka was not given a fair deal, Stalin said, “Karnataka is responsible to obey the Supreme Court, and the Centre is responsible to make them obey it.”