Bengaluru limps back to normalcy, curfew lifted
The country’s IT capital bustled with activity with transport vehicles and the Metro back in service and commercial establishments and schools and colleges reopening. “Curfew has been lifted in all 16 police station limits of Bengaluru city from 9 AM on Wednesday,” City Police Commissioner N S Megharikh tweeted.
Curfew was clamped on the night of Sept 12 after violence erupted with dozens of buses and lorries with Tamil Nadu registration being set on fire as mobs let out their fury over reports of some incidents of attack on Kannadigas and their property in the neighbouring state.
The violence had also erupted within hours after the Supreme Court modified its September 5 order and asked Karnataka to release a reduced quantum of 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 20.
In its September 5 order, the apex court had directed the state to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water for 10 days to ameliorate the plight of farmers of the neighbouring state. Though curfew was lifted, officials said prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC will continue until further orders as a precautionary measure.
“....peace has been restored, there is peaceful atmosphere where people can come out of their homes,” state Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters here after touring violence-hit areas along with senior police officials.
Megharik said, “There is no question of rail roko. Though we have lifted curfew in some parts of the city, section 144 is still on. Therefore, there is no question of rail roko or any kind of protest in coming days.”
He said the police has not given any permission for pro-Kannada leader Vatal Nagaraj’s party to stage rail roko on Thursday.
As many as 350 people had been rounded up and investigations are on to find out the culprits who indulged in violence. The Cauvery unrest has claimed two lives in the city. One person had died in police firing on Monday while another succumbed to injuries he suffered while fleeing police lathicharge as he jumped in panic from a three-storey building. In Mandya, the epicentre of Cauvery agitation, Tamils took out a procession in the city and protested against the Supreme Court verdict, carrying empty vessels.
The residents of a Tamil colony also condemned some incidents of attacks on Kannadigas and their property in Tamil Nadu and appealed to the neighbouring state Chief Minister to ensure safety of Kannadigas living there.
The ‘Rythara hithrakshana samithee’, (committee for protection of farmers’ interests) headed by G. Madegowda, which is spearheading the Cauvery stir, staged a dharna and said they have no other option but to continue their protests till water release to Tamil Nadu stops.