Normal life came to a standstill in Mysore city on Saturday owing to the total bandh observed to protest against the release of Cauvery water from the State to Tamil Nadu.
Shops and business establishments, except hospitals, chemists and druggists, downed shutters since morning while public transport went off roads expressing solidarity with the bandh. Barring a stray incident of few activists barging into the Wipro campus in Mysore and disrupting the work, bandh was by and large peaceful till noon.
Several government offices - some were closed completely - functioned with a thin attendance. Banks, petrol pumps, schools and colleges closed down to back the bandh. A number of pro-Kannada organisations and associations took out a march in the city from various locations to converge on the deputy commissioner’s office to stage protest. Police had put up barricades to prevent the entry of the protesters in to the deputy commissioner’s office.
Activists burnt tyres to block the Vinoba Road in the city to vent their ire. The normally busy Sayyajirao Road along the Devaraja Market wore a deserted look as the shops and stalls downed their shutters. Sloganeering rent the air as the drum-beating, some even dancing, protesters reached the deputy commissioner’s office covering D. Devaraja Urs Road. The members raised slogans against the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagdish Shettar.
CPI members took out a motorbike rally from the Ramaswamy Circle to the deputy commissioner’s office to register its protest against the water release. Adequate police forces were deployed at vital intersections in the city to prevent untoward incidents.