The Bengaluru bandh over the Cauvery river dispute — called by several farmers’ associations and backed by Opposition parties — received mixed responses across the city on Tuesday morning, 26 September. Public transport, as well as autorickshaw and cab services, remained largely unaffected.
While a few traders shut their shops for the day, other establishments in Bengaluru city, such as hotels, are operating as usual.
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) are continuing bus and metro rail services, as scheduled.
Bandh scenes across Bengaluru
In the wake of the bandh, which is being backed by over 40 organisations, including trade and autorickshaw associations, the Bengaluru City Police have beefed-up security across the city.
Schools and colleges have been given a holiday. Bangalore University, too, has declared a holiday and has postponed the semester exams for degree students.
Cops have detained several protestors, including Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association’s state president Kurbur Shanthakumar and his associates, and a few Kannada activists near State Bank of Mysore circle and Town Hall.
Meanwhile, a protester tried to die by suicide at Freedom Park; however, the on-duty police’s timely intervention averted the incident.
Also read: Karnataka to comply with SC order on Cauvery
Public transport, cabs run as usual
The bandh has received meagre response so far; public transport and cab services remain unaffected in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
BMTC buses are operating in the majority of the routes; however, they were carrying fewer passengers. KSRTC services have been partially affected as many bus services have either been delayed or called-off due to poor occupancy at Kempegowda Bus Station.
The BMRCL has continued metro operations on all routes. Again, most stations have so far witnessed fewer people, as schools and colleges are not functioning.
While cabs continue to ply the streets as usual, autorickshaw services are partially affected as most of them have remained off the road.
Meanwhile, fuel stations are operating partially as several associations have announced moral support to the farmers’ association and the bandh.
Cops detain protestors
In the wee hours of Tuesday, cops detained several protestors. Despite assurances of holding a peaceful protest, the police had to take Kurbur Shanthakumar and his associates into preventive custody. Several Kannada activists protesting near Town Hall were also detained.
After the Siddaramaiah government announced that it will comply with the Supreme Court order and release water to Tamil Nadu till 26 September, various farmers’ associations, backed by Opposition parties — the BJP, the JD(S), and over 40 organisations and outfits — called the Bengaluru bandh on 26 September.
Various associations also scheduled a huge rally from Town Hall to Freedom Park at 11 am. City Police Commission B Dayananda has denied permission for this rally. Instead, the protestors gathering in and around Town Hall are being sent to Freedom Park to hold their demonstration.
Shanthakumar told reporters on Tuesday, “The Karnataka government should immediately stop supplying water to Tamil Nadu. It should work towards protecting the interests of the farmers, people, and state.”
“We are seeking water for drinking and irrigation purposes. People of Bengaluru, Mandya, and Mysuru are dependent on Cauvery river for drinking. This monsoon has failed us and caused severe drought in the state. The Congress government is pleasing their alliance party in Tamil Nadu by releasing water. We condemn this,” charged Shanthakumar.