There was mixed response to Bangalore bandh, called by pro-Kannada organisations against >sexual assault on women and children . Many traders downed shutters voluntarily. While many vehicles stayed off the roads, buses and autorickshaws continued to play. Many shops in the Central Business District remained closed and roads wore a deserted look.
It is said that several mall across the city would remain shut till 6 p.m., while single-screen theatres cancelled the morning show. It is not known if other shows will be held as per schedule. Heavy police presence was felt. Apart from city police, many platoons from the KSRP and CRPF have also been deployed to prevent any untoward incidents. Thus far, police control rooms state that no incident has been reported.
The busy Kempe Gowda Bus Station wore a deserted look. A group of motorcyclists from a pro-Kannada organisation took out a bike rally and urged people to support the bandh.
While government schools remained open, a few private schools, including central board schools in N R Colony and Lingarajpuram, decided to be closed on the bandh day. Angry citizens pelted stones at two BMTC buses, one in Hebbagodi and another on Tannery Road.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reviewed bandh situation in the city along with Home Minister K.J. George, DG and IG L.R. Pachau and police commissioner M.N. Reddi. Mr. M.N. Reddi told reporters that BMTC and KSRTC buses are running at 80 per cent capacity. He claimed that normalcy in city had not been disrupted. He added that the police would not allow activists to gherao CM's home office, but would allow some leaders to meet Mr. Siddaramaiah and submit a memorandum.
All Tamil Nadu buses that are plying towards Karnataka have been stopped at Hosur on the Tamil Nadu border. Satish, a businessman in Hosur, told The Hindu that he wanted to come to come to Chandapura in Bangalore on business. "At the bus stop, I was told that no Tamil Nadu buses would ply to Bangalore. The authorities informed that services are likely to resume only after 4 p.m. I reached my destination by taking a KSRTC bus," he said.
(With inputs from K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj, Tanu Kulkarni, K.C. Deepika, K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj)