The local administration has imposed Section 144 in Bengaluru till September 30 in the wake of the ongoing protests in Karnataka over the Supreme Court verdict on sharing Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu. The section that forbids the assembly of five or more people was put into affect on Tuesday after the apex court ordered the Siddaramaiah government to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, ANI reported.
On Tuesday, Karnataka told the court that the state cannot release water to Tamil Nadu till the end of 2016. The top court also directed the Centre to arrange a meeting between the chief ministers of the states before Friday, according to NDTV. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was recently hospitalised for a minor illness, convened a meeting on Tuesday and nominated three officials to attend the discussion in Delhi.
The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for Friday, September 29. Tamil Nadu did not mention at the hearing that Karnataka was in contempt of court for refusing to comply with an earlier Supreme Court order.
The Karnataka government had filed a petition in the court on Monday, seeking a modification to its order from September 20, when it directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 27. The state's legislature passed a resolution on September 23 saying that they cannot release water from the river for anything but drinking purposes in Bengaluru and other towns and villages in the Cauvery basin. According to the mandate, they cannot release water to Tamil Nadu until their reservoirs have enough to spare.
On September 5, the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, but it later reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs. The court verdict had led to widespread protests carried out by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the state needed the water more that its neighbour. Tamil Nadu had also held a bandh (pictured above) on September 16, with farmers' and traders' bodies saying Tamilians had been targeted by Kannadiga protestors. On September 20, the court arrived at a new figure – 6,000 cusecs – but the Karnataka government refused to comply with the order.