The Bengaluru Police on Monday evening imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after incidents of violence were reported across the city. The protests followed the Supreme Court's direction to Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery River every day to Tamil Nadu till September 20. It modified its earlier order, reducing the amount to be released from the 15,000 cusecs it had decided on September 5.
The Karnataka government had moved the apex court seeking the suspension of the court's earlier judgment. Its counsels argued that Tamil Nadu has been complaining about a water crisis that does not exist, ANI reported. While modifying the order, the apex court bench criticised the "tone and tenor" of the state's plea, and said law-and-order problems cannot be grounds for not complying with the top court's directive. The bench said it was the duty of citizens and the government to accept its ruling.
Protests and violence continue
The court order on September 5 had divided the two states' citizens, with both sides protesting in support of their farmers. On Monday, incidents of violence continued in both states. Protestors set more than 20 buses on fire at Bengaluru's KPN Bus depot. At least one civilian was killed and another injured after police opened fire on protestors in Bengaluru's Hegganahalli locality.
State Home Minister G Parameshwara said prohibitory orders had been issued in the town of Pandavapura, as well. As many as 200 protestors involved in agitations have been detained across the state, he added.
Metro and bus services were shut down in parts of the city. Metro services were later resumed. After word got around that people in Tamil Nadu had allegedly damaged shops owned by Kannadigas, a lorry with a Tamil Nadu number plate was set on fire in a Bengaluru suburb. Several shops in the area were damaged in the area.
Local reporters said the Rapid Action Force used batons to control protestors at the Satellite bus station on Mysuru Road, where people were attacking buses registered with Tamil Nadu number plates. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa regarding the violence reported against Kannadigas in her state. He will chair an emergency state cabinet meeting on Tuesday, September 13.
In Chennai, six petrol bombs were hurled at a Kannadiga restaurant earlier in the day. According to The Times of India, protestors came by the eatery early in the morning and threw the bombs at it from an autorickshaw. Police found a note at the spot that claimed the attack was a "retaliation". They suspect members of the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, a local group, might have been behind the attack.
Reactions come in
Tamil politicians and activists condemned another incident in Bengaluru, where an engineering student was beaten up for criticising Kannada actors' support for the protests on social media. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam spokesperson CR Saraswathi said, "Violence is not the solution. People of both states have to face issues in a compassionate manner."
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader TKS Elangovan said the farmers' protests in Karnataka indicated that the state had failed to carry out its duties. "They should have acted earlier so that the problem would not have gone to the streets," he added, according to The Indian Express.
Cauvery panel meets
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee met in New Delhi on Monday. Both states made their case but could not come to a consensus on the water dispute. Officials of the Central Water Commission and the chief secretaries of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry attended the discussion. The next meeting of the committee will be held on September 19.