Bangalore: Life was interrupted in Karnataka on Saturday with the 24-hour bandh called by Kannada outfits to protest the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The protestors on Saturday even attempted to ransack the Wipro office in Mysore, demanding that work be stopped.
Meanwhile, roads also wore a deserted look after autos, taxis, buses and lorries stayed off the roads in Bangalore and the rest of the state. Petrol pumps also downed their shutters along with schools and colleges.
Also, the shops, theatres and malls remained shut with the traders associations joining the strike. Prominent Kannada film actors staged a dharna at the film chamber offices.
The first family of the Kannada film industry too lends its support, with Puneet Rajkumar and his two brothers, Shivarajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar joining the dharna.
With the Kannada film industry supporting the bandh, cinema houses remain closed, even as Cable TV operators joined the stir and except for TV news, they did not beam any entertainment programmes.
Meanwhile, a report from Mandya said that some farmers, who staged a protest by standing on the banks of the Cauvery river, were taken into preventive custody. Farmers belonging to the Cauvery Hitharakshana Samiti, an organisation spearheading the stir, continued their relay fast while some protesters burnt tyres in Mandya city.
Minor incidents of stone-pelting were also reported in Bangalore city. According to the police, protestors pelted stones on some Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses and damaged its window panes.
There were also strong demands for the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar for "not living up to his assurances".
President of Cauvery Hitharakshana Samiti, G Madegowda, who continued his relay fast for the third day on Saturday, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar saying, "The Chief Minister who had assured us that water will not be released to Tamil Nadu, acted swiftly on the Supreme Court direction to release water to the neighbouring state, neglecting the interest of the farmers of Cauvery basin."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader V Dhananjaykumar, a loyalist of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa also slamed the Chief Minister for his 'failure' to protect the state's interests.
Reacting to the development, Yeddyurappa hit out at Prime Minister Manmnohan Singh. He said, "The Prime Minister has taken all decisions by sitting in Delhi. Now they have sent a team to Mandya. Couldn't they have done this before and taken the decision? There is no water and they have no idea of the ground realities. SM Krishna is in Delhi. Why is he not doing anything? The PM wants to save his government. That's why all favourable decisions are made in favour of Jayalalithaa."
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