Nearly 10,000 protesters gather at K.R. Circle to stage demonstrations
Thirteen two-wheelers torched in Railway workshop parking lot Trains services to Bangalore cancelled after two trains were detained
MYSORE: Life came to a standstill in Mysore on Monday in response to the State-wide bandh called by Kannada organisations to protest against the "injustice" to Karnataka by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
Thirteen two-wheelers in the parking lot of the Railway workshop in Ashokapuram here were set fire on by miscreants. "We will soon identify the culprits and book cases against them," Police Commissioner Pravin Sood told The Hindu . No other untoward incidents were reported and the bandh was peaceful in Mysore, Mr. Sood said.
Shops and business establishments in the city, including petty shops in residential localities, remained closed. School and colleges had declared a holiday while buses and autorickshaws stayed off the roads.
Except for K.R. Circle, where activists of several organisations turned up to stage demonstrations, the city wore the look of a ghost town . "Nearly 10,000 people turned up at K.R. Circle to hold different demonstrations," Mr. Sood said.
Most banks and financial institutions, including ATMs, downed their shutters. A few such as the ICICI Bank on Rama Vilas Road, which opened in the morning, were forced to down their shutters by protesters.
The City Bus Stand and suburban bus stands were deserted as the KSRTC did not ply any buses on Monday. Train services between Mysore and Bangalore were cancelled after Chamundi Express and the Mysore-Bangalore passenger train, which left Mysore railway station at their scheduled time, were detained enroute to Bangalore.
Railway authorities were forced to cancel the train service between Mysore and Bangalore after several pro-Kannada activists, led by former MLA Vedantha Hemmige, turned up at the railway station to detain the Tipu Express, which was scheduled to depart at 11 a.m. Groups of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists astride on motorcycles, bearing the Karnataka flag, went around the city shouting slogans. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists targeted the Divisional Railway Manager's office and forced employees to boycott work. Many government offices could not function as attendance was thin. Factories in and around Mysore had declared a holiday on Monday. "Industries in Hebbal, Metagalli, Belavadi, Hootagalli, Bannimantap and Yadavgiri observed a total bundh. Major units such as Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd. (BRBNML), BEML, J.K. Tyres, Wipro, Falcon, L & T, Rane Madras and Infosys, besides all small scale industries in the industrial suburbs were closed," general secretary of the Hebbal Industrialists' Association Suresh Kumar Jain said. Petrol stations and cinema houses remained closed and several medical shops too downed their shutters. Non-Kannada television channels were blacked out in many localities, as cable television operators joined the bandh.