Bangalore: A day-long
shutdown to protest the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil
Nadu crippled life in Karnataka Saturday.
The state-wide shutdown called by farmers and pro-Kannada
organisations is supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party
and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular.
Uneasy calm prevailed in Bangalore and other cities and towns of
"The 12-hour shutdown began at 6 a.m. There were stray incidents
of road blockade, forcible closure of shops and damage to a couple
of state-run buses," a senior police official told IANS here.
The state-run transport services of Kerala State Road Transport
Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport
Corporation (BMTC) were suspended amid fears of damage to the
vehicles by miscreants.
Although train and flight services remained unaffected, passengers
were stranded at the railway station here, as autorickshaws and
taxis remained off the roads.
The state education department late Friday advised schools and
colleges to declare a holiday Saturday to ensure safety of
students during the bandh.
Companies offering 24x7 services like call centres and business
process outsourcing had to make arrangements to escort their
employees to work and back home.
With commercial establishments like shops, malls, restaurants and
petrol pumps shut, life has virtually come to a standstill in the
state capital, Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and
Supply of essential commodities like milk and medicines and
ambulance service were, however, exempted from the shutdown.
The security has been beefed up across the state.
Additional police personnel were deployed at vital installations
and sensitive areas, especially in Bangalore.
The state has been releasing 9,000 cusecs of water daily since Sep
29 in compliance with the Supreme Court order of Sep 19, directing
the prime minister, who is also the chairman of the Cauvery River
Authority, to supervise the distribution of water in Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu and Kerala.