Want Yettinahole in manifestos; Ullal disillusioned by police after violence

Whether it is the government handling of the unrest in Ullal earlier in January or the political reactions to the execution of the controversial Yettinahole diversion project, numerous organisations have decided to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On Sunday hundreds of residents of Kodi gathered to voice their anger against the police department for arresting “numerous innocent” persons after two groups were involved in clashes that started on January 29. Even with allegations of police harassment in the three-day prohibitory orders that followed, around 75 persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the violence.

“The police received the support of politicians for the arrest of numerous innocent persons. There were many cases of atrocities here, where the police broke locked doors, entered houses late in the night and destroyed property or stole electronic items and cash. Not one politician visited us to ask us about our problems. If they don’t care about us, why should we care about them?” said S. Nawaz Ali, a resident.

Kabir Ullal, vice president of the district unit of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), said nearly 1,000 residents of Kodi had voiced support to the motion.

“There is disillusionment with the police and the system,” he said.

NOTA, an option

Meanwhile, the Yettinahole project — specifically, the doublespeak by political parties — has also become a reason to discuss strategies to make it an important poll issue. Dinesh Holla, Convenor of the Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya, said from April 1, members of the organisation and other supporting organisations will distribute pamphlets calling for citizens to insist on Yettinahole being in the manifesto.

“This is the right time as these politicians are not going to come to the citizen’s door again for the next five years. As the parties say one thing here and one thing elsewhere, we will ask the citizens to choose NOTA (None of the above). It is about time the next MP gets serious about projects detrimental to the district,” he said.

Similarly, in Uppinanagdi, Niranjan Rai, Convenor of the Anti Nethravati River Diversion Committee, said the organisation is seriously considering the proposal to boycott the elections.

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