They were protesting against notification of Cauvery tribunal award

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) took the authorities by surprise on Wednesday when they stormed into the divisional Railway office here, threw stones and smashed glass and window panes.

They were protesting against the notification of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Though the office of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) as well as the Intelligence Wing is located in the same building, they too did not anticipate any trouble. Security was beefed up at the main station in view of the general strike.

The incident took place around noon . The activists did not carry their customary flags and scarves and the authorities initially thought they were part of the general public. However, they were taken aback when stones and bricks started raining down on them. Employees panicked and rushed to the RPF office seeking security and transport home.

P.K. Mohandas, Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, told The Hindu that in view of the general strike, they had beefed up security at the city railway station.

In addition, entry points to the divisional Railway office were barricaded but for a small opening for the staff and the general public.

“Initially, we thought trade union activists had entered the office premises and were creating ruckus. Later, we realised that it had nothing to do with the general strike and that they were KRV activists,” Mr. Mohandas said.

Fortunately, none of the staff was injured. RPF personnel at the station were informed about the incident and they surrounded the activists and took them into custody.

The damage to the property is estimated to be around Rs. 1 lakh.

The Divisional Railway office is a sensitive installation as it houses the Railway Signal and Telecommunication Wing, the Railway control room for the entire division, armoury, wireless controls, cash and so on. “As it was a public office, people had easy access to it all these years, but we will restrict and regulate the entry of the public in future,” Mr. Mohandas said.

Senior police officials, including Commissioner of Police K.L. Sudheer and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Basavaraj Malgatti, visited the spot.

The Mandi police has booked a case of rioting and unlawful assembly and taken the activists into custody.

More In: Karnataka | National