Tight security at KRS reservoir; train, vehicular traffic unaffected
Security has been tightened across Mandya district, especially at Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir, following a “jail bharo” call given by the Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti against the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, vehicular traffic on Bangalore-Mysore highway returned to normality on Tuesday with the protesters allowing vehicles to ply smoothly. Trains also ran as usual.
The samiti has threatened to hold “Kara Nirakarane Sathyagraha” as the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) “had failed” to safeguard the interests of the State farmers.
At a meeting here, the samiti urged people to participate in the satyagraha by refusing to pay excise tax, income tax, water cess, commercial tax, sales tax, land revenue, house tax and entertainment tax.
“We should hold ‘Kara Nirakarane Sathyagraha’ (refusal to pay tax) to pressure the Union government,” the former MP and samiti president G. Madegowda said.
The Mandya police have made elaborate security arrangements as the samiti has decided to lay a siege to the KRS dam on Wednesday. At least 20,000 farmers are expected to participate in the protest near KRS dam..
“We have kept ready one platoon each of Border Security Force (BSF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) besides the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and District Armed Reserve (DAR) platoons,” A.N. Rajanna, Additional Superintendent of Police (Mandya), said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, life returned to normality on Tuesday as the number of protests fell due to Gandhi Jayanti and the samiti leaders going to Bangalore to attend a meeting with regard to Cauvery agitation.
Members of the Women wing of Janata Dal (Secular), Sir M. Visvesvaraya Walkers Club, Bahujan Samaj Party, Hoysala Seva Karnataka, Aniketan Home for Elders, Sports Club, Akhila Karnataka Manava Hakkugala Horata Samiti, Karnataka Dalit Sangarsh Samiti, Ambareesh Fans Club, Mini Goods Carrier Vehicles Association, Vinayaka Geleyara Balaga, Kadamba Sainya, Nesra Trust and residents of Chikkegowdana Doddi, B.T. Lalita Nayak Layout, Hemmige and Soonaganahalli participated in protests.
Kalika Math seer Rishikumara Swami also participated in the “continuous protest” organised by the samiti.
Similar protests were held in Malavalli, Maddur, Pandavapura, Srirangapatna, K.R. Pet and Nagamangala taluks in the district.
No major roadblocks were reported. Farmers in small groups staged protests at Belagola, Gejjalagere, Kallahalli and at some other places.
Though less in number due to general holiday, shops and commercial establishments operated as usual.
Even though buses attached to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s other divisions plied on Bangalore-Mysore highway, the Mandya division kept vehicles off the road due to fear of protests.
Water supply stopped
Members of the Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti barged into the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s pumping station at Torekadanahalli in Malavalli and stopped water supply to Bangalore for nearly an hour.
However, they withdrew the protest as the water meant for Bangalore was flowing towards Tamil Nadu after they stopped the supply.
The protesters also blocked vehicular movement on Bangalore-Dindigul Highway for nearly two hours.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed for a while when a farmer attempted to commit suicide by hanging from a tree. The police and protesters managed to save him.
Supply to be hit today
Special Correspondent reports from Bangalore
Water supply to the entire city is likely to be affected on Wednesday
“If pumping stops even for a minute, it takes almost three hours for us to restore water supply as we have to restart almost 60 pumps,” an official explained.