Karnataka

Nargund town comes to standstill over Mahadayi as agitation enters fifth year

As the indefinite agitation seeking a share in Mahadayi river waters entered the fifth year on Tuesday, Nargund in Gadag district, the epicentre of the agitation came to a standstill in response to a bandh call given by various farmer organisations. The farmers took out a rally, staged a protest and then submitted memorandum seeking notification of the Mahdayi Tribunal award.

As the indefinite agitation seeking a share in Mahadayi river waters entered the fifth year on Tuesday, Nargund in Gadag district, the epicentre of the agitation came to a standstill in response to a bandh call given by various farmer organisations. The farmers took out a rally, staged a protest and then submitted memorandum seeking notification of the Mahdayi Tribunal award.  

Police make elaborate bandobast as a large number of farmers reach the protest venue

As the indefinite agitation seeking a share in Mahadayi river water entered the fifth year on Tuesday, Nargund town in Gadag district, the epicentre of the agitation came to a standstill in response to a bandh call given by various farmer organisations.

As a large number of farmers were scheduled to reach Nargund on Tuesday, the police had made elaborate bandobast as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident during the agitation.

While shopkeepers and businessmen of Nargund voluntarily closed down their shops, North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) suspended bus services to the town and long-distance buses were diverted through alternative routes.

And, the stretch of National Highway 218 that passes through Nargund was blocked by the police as a precautionary measure till evening.

The indefinite agitation led by Raita Sena Karnataka at Nargund was launched on July 16, 2015, and has passed through various stages, including a few violent instances leading to arrests and cases being booked against farmers.

Even as the agitation completed four years, the farmers are yet to get water and they are now upset that although the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal delivered the verdict on August 14 last year, the award has not been notified by the Union government so far.

On Tuesday, raising slogans, the protesting farmers and farm women took out a mega protest march covering the thoroughfares of the town before congregating at Shivaji Circle where a protest meeting was held. The protestors were led by Raita Sena Karnataka and other farmer organisations.

Raising slogans against the Union and State governments for failing to meet the demands of farmers, the protestors demanded early notification of the tribunal’s award. They also raised slogans against MLAs who are involved in the battle for power in the State. Addressing the protestors, State president of the Raita Sena Karnataka Viresh Sobaradmath said that although repeated pleas had been made to the State government for disclosure of the detailed project report for utilisation of water allocated to the State, there was no response from those in the government, including the Minister for Water Resources.

Instead of meeting the aspirations of the people and attending to their grievances, the coalition government in the State and the Opposition were engaged in a power struggle, he said.

The protestors subsequently submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner of Gadag M.G. Hiremath and Superintendent of Police of Gadag Srinath Joshi seeking their assistance in leading a delegation of 50 farmers to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala. They said that if they were not allowed to meet the Governor over the issue, then they would be forced to launch a Raj Bhavan Chalo, along with farmers from four districts of North Karnataka.

Later, the police said that the bandh ended peacefully without any untoward incident.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 28, 2020 1:46:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nargund-town-comes-to-standstill-over-mahadayi-as-agitation-enters-fifth-year/article28494322.ece

Next Story