Police prevent situation from getting out of hand
Thousands of farmers from Mandya, Maddur and surrounding areas thronged the Krishnaraja Sagar site on Wednesday in protest against the release of water to Tamil Nadu.
A strong police contingent present at the dam site prevented the situation from getting out of hand.
The situation was calm until large groups of people started arriving in vehicles in the afternoon, blocking the bridge across the Cauvery. The atmosphere became charged when farmers’ leader G. Made Gowda arrived at the scene.
The crowd went on a sloganeering spree against the government’s decision to heed the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) directive to release water at the rate of 9,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu till October 15. Attempts made by the irate mob to break the police cordon and get into the reservoir area were foiled.
The situation became tense when M. Srinivas, MLA, and Shivarame Gowda, former MLA, got into a police bus stationed at the spot. Suddenly the mob started throwing stones at the bus from all sides.
The police attempted to pacify the farmers even as the bus was damaged.
Some television crews who were filming the scene from atop the police bus had to take evasive action. Farmers, journalists and some anxious onlookers had to run for cover when the stone-throwing intensified.
Police personnel wearing helmets and safety jackets, and wielding lathis went round the area.
The tension eased when Mr. Shivarame Gowda and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader K.S. Puttannaiah left the spot around 4 p.m. The police quickly cleared the vehicles that had blocked the bridge leading to the main gate of the Brindavan Gardens.
The protesters reportedly roughed up N. Cheluvarayaswamy, Mandya MP.
M.T. Shiva Kumar writes:
Even as the inflow into the Krishnaraja Sagar has increased with rainfall in the catchment areas of the Cauvery, the water-level in the reservoir has been depleting.
While the inflow was at the rate of 5,575 cusecs at 6 a.m. on September 29, the outflow was at the rate of 5,295 cusecs.
The water-level was 109.57 ft at 6 a.m. on September 29.
The outflow increased to 8,529 cusecs at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, an officer at the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam told The Hindu.
The inflow was at the rate of 5,911 cusecs at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. However, the water-level in the reservoir had gone down by nearly 1 foot, he added.