Bengaluru: Farmers protest causes traffic chaos

Bengaluru (PTI): Hundreds of farmers blocked the road leading to the airport and disrupted traffic as they sought solution to their water woes in two parched districts, prompting police to resort to baton charge.

The farmers from Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts were enraged as police tried to prevent their entry into the city on the airport road with a ban on entry of tractors and lorry and prohibitory orders in place.

The protest to lay “siege” to Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, where the legislature is in session, was organised by farmers’ bodies demanding permanent irrigation facilities in the two districts.

Breaking through barricades, the farmers came into the city in tractors and on two wheelers as police tried in vain to block them near the Chief Minister’s residence from proceeding towards Vidhana Soudha.

Police then resorted to baton charge to disperse the crowd, as a result of which a large number of vehicles in which farmers had come were left on the road, making the situation worse and adding to traffic chaos.

Several farmers including Kodihalli Chandrashekar, president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (Hasiru Sena), a farmers body which is in the forefront of the stir, were taken into custody by police.

The protest march resulted in a huge traffic pileup on the road leading to Kempegowda International Airport causing inconvenience to commuters, who waited for hours.

Some vehicles, including city transport buses, were also damaged during the protest, police said.

Expressing his anger against the government and political parties, a farmer said “assembly is in session we wanted to ask them about why they have not been able to solve our problem, but they are asking police to beat us up and send back.

“The session is to discuss and solve our issues. When we are dying without water there they are discussing diamond watch (controversy involving a luxury watch gifted to Chief Minister).”

Farmers have also demanded the immediate release of their leaders.

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