Bengaluru, Sep 26 (IANS): The bandh condemning the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu was observed peacefully on Tuesday in Karnataka's capital Bengaluru.
The bandh call given by the Jal Samrakshana Samithi garnered good support in the IT city till the evening. The techies switched over to the online mode and companies operated with skeleton staff.
As more than 10,000 policemen were deputed all across the city and protesters trying to take out protest marches were detained, barring for few instances, no major untoward incident reported.
The commuters travelling towards the railway station and the airport were affected due to the bandh call. The passengers who had arrived in Bengaluru had to wait for hours and got stranded at the Bengaluru International Airport.
Those who were scheduled to fly off from Bengaluru reached the airport early in the morning to avoid any hassle.
Schools and colleges remained closed in the city.
The Law University, Bengaluru University and Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) had postponed the exams scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
Minister for Transport Ramalinga Reddy, on behalf of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, went to a protest site and met the members of Jal Samrakshana Samithi.
Minister Ramalinga Reddy after meeting protesters said that the Samithi had given a memorandum comprising five demands, which include immediately stopping the release of water to Tamil Nadu; creation of a committee to deal with the distress period in Cauvery basin; and withdrawal of cases against Kannada activists and others.
“I will bring all the demands to the notice of the Chief Minister. Our government is pro-farmer," he said.
The Samithi had given a deadline of three days to the government to fulfil the demands.
Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the bandh on Cauvery issue has been successful. "It highlighted the outrage of people. But, the government does not seem to have woken up. The state had witnessed protests and struggles. We have not made any attempts to sideline them. Despite CM Siddaramaiah assuring that he won’t scuttle the protests, since morning the protestors were arrested. Amid this, our agitators have been successful in staging protests. I congratulate them. This unity was much needed. The people and organisations together have made the bandh successful,” he added.
"During the rule of BJP, Mekedatu procession was allowed at the height of Covid pandemic... Now, protesters were not allowed to take out a march for a short distance. The government tried to dominate through the police," Bommai said.
"Stop looking after the interests of alliance parties. You release water to Tamil Nadu and want the interference of the Prime Minister. DMK is an alliance in INDIA. Let AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge and Sonia Gandhi hold talks. The statements by the Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar over Cauvery issue is damaging the state’s interests. The orders by the tribunals should not be agreed by the state, they should be challenged in the Supreme Court," he asserted.
Shivakumar thanked people and organisations for carrying out the protest peacefully without giving room for any untoward incidents.