Cauvery Water Dispute: Farmers Protest SC Order, Block Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway

Representative image. PTI

Representative image. PTI

Mandya: Agitated farmers and activists from pro-Kannada outfits blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway on Tuesday (September 6) as protests intensified after the Supreme Court directed the state to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Mandya district, the nucleus of Cauvery politics, saw a bandh with protesters holding road blockades and dharnas at several places as hundreds of security personnel, including Central forces, were deployed in the Cauvery belt to maintain law and order.

Prohibitory orders have been issued for the around the Krishnarajasagar Dam and entry of visitors to it has been stopped till September 9, as the Cauvery row heated up after the Supreme Court asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to address the plight of the farmers.

The police said that protesters ransacked several government offices in Mandya forcing them to shut down and attendance at government offices were low.

The Supreme Court’s direction triggered an immediate backlash, with the farmers’ body spearheading the stir, calling for a bandh on Tuesday in the Mandya district.

Shops, hotels, theatres and other commercial establishments remained shut. Schools and colleges declared a holiday as state run and private buses stayed off the roads.

The Mysuru and Hassan districts, that are fed by the Cauvery, also saw protests with people demanding that Karnataka should not release water.

Venting their anger, protesters burnt the effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa at several places.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is holding a meeting of senior ministers, legal experts and officials, has also invited legislature floor leaders and MPs later today to discuss further course of action.