Nearly 200 farmers, led by farmers’ leader Sunanda Jayaram, slept on the tracks at Gejjalagere between Maddur and Channapatna

Protests intensified in Mandya district on Monday over the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu.

Protesters blocked the roads, and road and train services between Bangalore and Mysore were disrupted.

Nearly 200 farmers, led by farmers’ leader Sunanda Jayaram, slept on the tracks at Gejjalagere between Maddur and Channapatna. The police detained 100 farmers, including women and children, to clear the tracks.

As news of the arrest of Ms. Jayaram spread, members of the Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti rushed to the Mandya Superintendent Police’s office and attempted to lay siege to it. They demanded that Ms. Jayaram be released.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation suspended its services and also that of Mandya Nagara Sarige in the district. The district witnessed demonstrations, rallies and formation of human chains at more than 100 places, according to the police. Residents of Gejjalagere, near Maddur, stopped trains for nearly three hours from 6 a.m. They had blocked the Bangalore–Mysore highway for nearly eight hours on Sunday. Protesters at Kabbanahalli, Hosur, K. Shettahalli, Keelara, Chikkarasanakere, Kothathi, Gejjalagere, Hosa Budhanuru and Kikkeri villages burnt effigies of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

There was an undeclared bandh in Mandya with hotels, theatres, shops and other commercial establishments remaining closed on Monday.

The samiti, at an emergency meeting here on Monday, decided to demand the resignation of all MPs from the State, besides sending a three-member team to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain the plight of farmers in Karnataka. The meeting decided to lay siege to KRS on Wednesday.The team will comprise External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and samiti president G. Made Gowda.

Security tightened

Over 3,000 security personnel, including a BSF platoon, have been deployed in the district. If required, the Mandya police would seek additional forces from neighbouring districts, a police officer told The Hindu.

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