The mahouts and kavadis, who are tending to the Dasara elephants at the Mysore palace, went on a sudden strike here on Saturday in protest against the “highhandedness” of the police. On Friday night, the mahouts, kavadis and their family members — who had returned from a tour of pilgrim places and other tourist spots in and around the city at around 10 p.m. — were stopped by the police at the Karikaltotti gate of the palace on “security grounds”.
However, after a prolonged quarrel, they were allowed into the premises where they are camping.
The next morning, the group decided to stage a protest. “Why should they utilise our services if they do not want to cooperate with us,” said one of the mahouts. Veterinarian Nagaraj and a couple of police officials, who met the agitating mahouts in the morning, pacified them saying that the issue would be dealt with later.
The mahouts and kavadis resumed work after the assurance.