violence broke out in Karnataka on Monday over the Supreme court order to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, with angry Kannadiga protesters torching over 30 buses of a Tamil-owned bus depot in Bengaluru.The KPN bus depot at the Kengeri yard glowed orange as flames leapt up and smoke engulfed the sky as the buses were gutted. A few hundred protesters had entered the bus depot and reportedly manhandled the drivers and other employees present there.
The city police has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a preventive measure in Bengaluru city from Monday evening.About 10 platoons of Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Police Force were deployed in sensitive areas across the city to prevent protestors from damaging public property, including vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu registration numbers.
“We have also taken about 200 protestors into custody on the charges of rioting, arson and resorting to violence to damage public property and causing unrest in the city,” State Home Minister G. Paramehswar said.Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has called an emergency Cabinet meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the Cauvery issue.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Siddaramaiah and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa over phone to enquire about the tense situation.Siddaramaiah said he has requested the Centre for additional security forces.Pro-Kannada protesters also pelted stones at lorries bearing Tamil Nadu registration numbers near Hubli Bypass and also vandalised many vehicles.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit gave the direction for 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water release on Monday while modifying its September 5 order by which it had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water every day for the next ten days.
It also rejected Karnataka’s plea to keep the September 5 order in abeyance.The court directed the next hearing of the matter on September 20.Expressing disappointment over the apex court’s order, Parameshwar said the government would again approach it to modify the latest order due to water shortage in the reservoirs.