Public transport, businesses largely unaffected
The bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits opposing the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu received partial response in the twin-cities on Saturday.
While businesses and commercial establishments in the central business district were closed till the evening, interior localities and extension areas remained unaffected.
There were fewer people, private vehicles and buses on the road, but public transport continued to ply. In some areas of Dharwad, activists tried to stop buses, but services soon resumed. In Hubli, buses were kept off the road for some time after Janata Dal (Secular) workers staged a protest outside the old KSRTC bus station.
In Hubli, rallies were held at Kittur Chennamma Circle in support of farmers from the Cauvery basin.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists stood in front of a passenger train at the railway station for a few minutes and staged a symbolic rail roko.
Vedike members took out a bike rally from Ambedkar Circle to Basava Vana, asking shopkeepers to close their shops.
The H.D. Kumaraswamy Abhimani Balaga, Karnataka Navanirman Sena, and Autorickshaw Owners and Drivers Association were among those who took out protest marches.
Although the autorickshaw association had decided to withdraw services, several drivers were seen operating in the city.
As the district administration had declared a holiday for educational institutions, they remained closed.
Some schools shut
In Dharwad, some schools and colleges declared a holiday as a precautionary measure, while others functioned.
Business establishments and hotels in Dharwad were closed for a few hours, especially when groups took out rallies in the market area. Activists forced some shops and petrol pumps to down their shutters. Later, many of them started functioning.
Banks worked with their shutters half down.
Traffic on the Pune-Bangalore National Highway 4 was affected as farmers, led by the local unit of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene blocked the highway at Tegur village near here for nearly two hours in the morning.
Karnatak Vidyavardhak Sangha president Patil Puttappa, general secretary Shankar Halagatti and senior writer Chennaveer Kanavi were among those who came out in support of the bandh here.
Special Correspondent from Belgaum reports:
The ‘Karnataka bandh’ only partially impacted life and trade in Belgaum.
Except for a few commercial establishments in the main markets, the rest of the city remained unaffected.
Bus services in and from the city were hit for some time while pro-Kannada outfits held demonstrations at the city and central bus-stands. Business at the vegetable and fruit markets, especially near bus-stands and Shanivarkoot, Ganpatgalli and Khadebazaar, was affected. The police arrested around 100 activists.
The activists burnt a tyre at Rani Chennamma Circle.
Janata Dal (S) workers staged a protest at Rani Chennamma Circle and later marched to the Deputy Commissioner’s office where they presented a memorandum opposing the Cauvery River Authority’s decision on water release.
Pro-Kannada outfits force some shopkeepers to down their shutters Autorickshaw association decided to withdraw services, but autos were seen on the road
Pro-Kannada outfits force some shopkeepers to down their shutters
Autorickshaw association decided to withdraw services, but autos were seen on the road