The Karnataka Police have detained over 50 members of pro-Kannada organisations protesting over the Cauvery River water dispute near Bengaluru to maintain law and order amid the state-wide Bandh call.
“We have made proper arrangements as a bandh has been called by several pro-Kannada organisations. More than 50 people from the organisations have been taken into custody… We have sufficient staff and we will make sure nothing goes wrong,” Additional Superintendent of Police of Bengaluru Rural Mallikarjun Baladandi told news agency ANI.
In Chikkamangalur, protesters entered petrol bunks in bikes and protested, they also burnt the effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. In Bengaluru, protesters were detained and brought to Freedom Park. In Mandya, protesters rolled on roads in protest.
‘Kannada Okkuta’ – a blanket organisation of pro-Kannada groups on Friday announced a Karnataka bandh opposing an order directing the Karnataka government to release Cauvery river water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. This comes two days after observing the Bengaluru bandh which received mixed responses.
The bandh will be in effect from 6 am to 6 pm on Friday. Bengaluru city police have issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, not allowing people to hold rallies, protests, or congregations of more than five people. But Pro-Kannada organisations are likely to hit the streets.
More than 1,900 associations are supporting the bandh. Grocery shops and other non-essential shops in the state, including Bengaluru, are expected to remain closed but essential services like hospitals, ambulances, and pharmacies will be operational.
KSRTC and BMTC buses will be operational based on the situation across the state. Speaking about inter-state operations, an official said that the buses heading towards Tamil Nadu may not be operational tomorrow but it will be subject to change based on the situation. Traffic on major roads of Bengaluru, especially in the central business district and at entry and exit points, is likely to take a hit.
Flight operations will remain as usual, Kempegowda International Airport authorities issued an advisory which states, “Due to one day Karnataka bandh called by various unions and organisations on September 29, 2023, we anticipate a disruption in transport services. Passengers are advised to plan their travel to and from the airport accordingly. Passengers are requested to follow alerts from respective airlines, law enforcement agencies and media releases for further updates.”
Cab aggregators including Ola and Uber have extended support to the bandh and are expected to participate in the rally. They have planned to reach the town hall from Nayandahalli. Auto-rickshaws will be off the roads. The Federation of Karnataka State Private Transport Association representing 32 private transport unions decided to provide moral support to the Karnataka bandh.