Bandh opposing Ballari bifurcation gets good response

There were protests during the bandh in Ballari on Tuesday.

There were protests during the bandh in Ballari on Tuesday.  

The bandh call to oppose the bifurcation of Ballari district evoked good response on Tuesday. Education institutions, petrol stations, cinema halls, trading units at APMC, shops and other business establishments across the city remained closed since morning. Though government offices and banks were open, they drew a very thin crowd.

Passengers faced inconvenienced as both public and private transport systems were paralysed. Many people were found struggling to reach Hospet Road near Cantonment to take buses to Hospet, Gangavathi, Sandur, and other cities. The buses coming to Ballari from other cities used the bypass routes avoiding the city. While buses operated by State-owned NEKRTC did not come leave the depots, private players such as autorickshaws were found operating in a few places. Activists of pro-Kannada organisations, farmers’ associations, Ballari Chamber of Commerce, Bar Association, trade unions, and other outfits staged demonstrations across the city. They took out bike rallies across the city and stopped vehicles. They even stopped the tahsildar, who was heading towards his office.

Activists burnt tyres and images of a few leaders who supported the bifurcation. Anand Singh, disqualified MLA, who took the lead for the bifurcation of the district, and Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, were the main targets of the agitation. A few Kannada activists even climbed a mobile tower and raised slogans, leaving the police and the public stunned. Activists attempted to lay siege to the residences of Congress leaders K.C. Kondaiah and Allam Veerabhadrappa, who had supported the bifurcation. It led to heated exchange of words and frictions between the agitators and the police. Congress leader Diwakar Babu came to the protest site and announced his support to the agitation. The activists assembled at Royal Circle for a collective agitation. They cooked and ate on the road to register their protest.

However, Hospet, the proposed headquarters for the new Vijayanagar district, saw pro-bifurcation demonstrations. The agitators, mainly lawyers, demanded the formation of the new district by carving out six taluks from Ballari district.

“The demand for new Vijayanagar district with Hospet as its headquarters is long pending. People had protested for 100 days. With the new district coming into existence, Hospet, Harapanahalli, Hadagali, Hagaribommanahalli, Kudligi, Kottur, and Kampli taluks will see rapid development,” said Tarihalli Hanumantappa, president of Hospet Lawyers Association.

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Printable version | Mar 23, 2020 9:35:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bandh-opposing-ballari-bifurcation-gets-good-response/article29569233.ece

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