K’taka will abide by ‘difficult’ SC order, one more dead
The violence in the Cauvery water dispute claimed its second life on Tuesday, as an uneasy calm hung over worst-hit Bengaluru amid sporadic protests in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu marked by targeted attacks.
Bengaluru was placed under curfew after deadly violence erupted over the long-running dispute. Around 15,000 police officers were deployed on the largely deserted streets of the country’s IT capital to enforce a curfew, after rampaging, stone-pelting mobs set buses and cars ablaze. Police gunfire killed one protester and injured another on Monday night.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed pain over the attacks in the two states locked in a bitter river water sharing row and appealed for calm while stressing that violence cannot provide a solution to any problem. He asserted that the dispute can only be solved within the legal ambit and “breaking the law is not a viable alternative”.
As the country’s IT capital and other affected districts showed signs of limping back to normalcy, Karnataka government decided to obey the Supreme Court’s modified order asking it to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till September 20 and warned of dealing with violence during protests against it with an “iron hand”.
The decision was taken after an emergency Cabinet meeting presided by CM Siddaramaiah was held in Bengaluru to take stock of the Apex Court direction and Monday’s violence over the release of water.
Hundreds of security personnel kept a tight vigil even as police said 365 people were arrested in connection with the violence in Karnataka which was blamed on Kannada activists and fringe groups. Police are conducting combing operations in several sensitive areas and dispersing assembled crowds.
Protests over the Cauvery issue continued in some parts of Tamil Nadu for the second day with fringe outfits like Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NTK) holding agitations outside Kannada establishments in Chennai and in Coimbatore.
The toll in the Cauvery stir related violence rose to two when a 30-year old man, who had allegedly jumped in panic from a three-storey building while trying to escape police lathi charge in Bengaluru,succumbed to multiple injuries on Tuesday.