Cauvery row: Karna to obey SC order, to release water to TN

Cauvery row: Karna to obey SC order, to release water to TN

Bengaluru, Sept 6, 2016 (PTI): Complying with the Supreme Court direction, Karnataka government today decided to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu despite “severe hardships”, as protests in the wake of the court order intensified with the highway between Bengaluru and Mysuru blocked by farmers.

“Despite severe hardships faced by the government of Karnataka, the state will release water as directed by the Supreme Court,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters tonight after nearly a three-hour long all-party meeting convened by him here.

He also said the state would approach the Supreme Court with a modification petition explaining the its difficulties in implementing its order, directing release of 15,000 cusecs per day to Tamil Nadu for next ten days, and seeking change in it and also move the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.

The Chief Minister said it would be “difficult” for a Constitution-bound state to defy the Supreme Court order or to refuse release of water. “With a heavy heart”, it has been decided to provide water to Tamil Nadu even though the state itself was facing a “very severe distress” year, he said.

Seeking to assuage the feelings of protesting farmers in the Cauvery heartland of Mandya and other districts in the basin, he said all efforts would be made to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and other places as also for crops.

He appealed to farmers to maintain peace and tranquility and not to cause any damage to public property. In Mandya, agitated farmers and activists belonging to pro-Kannada outfits blocked Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway as protests intensified in the wake of the apex court directive to the state to release Cauvery water.

Mandya district, the nucleus of Cauvery politics, saw a bandh with protesters holding road blockades and dharnas at several places, as hundreds of security personnel, including Central forces, were deployed in the Cauvery belt to maintain law and order.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped around the Krishnarajasagar Dam and entry of visitors to it prohibited till September 9, as the Cauvery row hotted up after yesterday’s Supreme Court directive on a petition by Tamil Nadu government. The court has directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water for the next 10 days to address the plight of the farmers in Tamil Nadu.

Protesters also mobbed and ransacked several government offices in Mandya forcing their shut down, while attendance at government offices remained thin, police said. The court order triggered an immediate backlash with the farmers’ body, spearheading the stir, calling for a bandh today in Mandya district.

Shops, hotels and other commercial establishments and theatres and hotels remained shut and schools and colleges declared a holiday in Mandya district where state run and private buses were also off the roads.

Protests are also being held by farmers in Mysuru and Hassan districts, fed by the Cauvery, demanding that Karnataka should not release water. G Madegowda, President of Cauvery Hita Rakshana Samithi, the body spearheading the agitation, criticised the chief minister and irrigation minister for their “irresponsible” behaviour over the Cauvery issue.

He also called the district MLAs to resign enmasse to protest against the “injustice.” In Bengaluru, some theatres stopped screening of Tamil movies as a “precautionary” step in view of the protests over Cauvery issue. Siddaramaiah said the state had told the Supreme Court during the recent hearing that it was willing to release 10,000 cusecs for six days but it directed release of 15,000 cusecs for 10 days.

In a similar situation in 2012-13, the BJP government headed by Jagadish Shettar had released 10,000 cusecs for nine days, he said, adding that they had done so without taking the Opposition into confidence. “Despite being in an extremely difficult situation, we have to obey the Court order,” Siddaramaiah said, also noting that it has to be taken into account that the main petition would be coming up for hearing before the apex court on October 18.

As per the Cauvery tribunal order, Karnataka had to release 94 TMC ft of water from June to August end in a normal year but given the “severe distress”, the state had provided 33 TMC ft during the period.

Amid the mounting protests, Bengaluru Tamil Sangam leaders today met Home Minister G Parameshwara and sought protection for Tamils living in the state. Reports from Tamil Nadu said inter-state bus services to Karnataka remained hit for the second day today.

Buses to various destinations in Karnataka originating from Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode, Tirupur and Coimbatore districts were stopped in border towns such as Hosur, Sathyamangalam and Bannari. However, some Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses were operated from Tamil Nadu. Also, private cars, vans and taxis and trucks with Karnataka registration were operated.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu demanded that the Siddaramaiah government comply with the court directive and suggested Chief Minister Jayalalithaa lead an all party delegation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue. DMK President M Karunanidhi said the court order directing 15,000 cusecs for ten days “is certainly not enough for samba crops.”

Tamil leaders meet K’taka Home Minister for protection

Bengaluru, Sep 6, 2016 (PTI): Bengaluru Tamil Sangam leaders today met Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara and sought protection for Tamils living in the state amid protests by farmers and various pro-Kannada outfits against the Supreme Court direction to release Cauvery water for Tamil Nadu.

“We met Home Minister Parameshwara and sought protection for Tamils living across the state, including at sensitive places such as Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chamrajnagar, Mandya and Kolar gold fields,” Sangam president G Damodaran said in a statement here.

Earlier, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra had urged the people to maintain calm and not damage government property as the state government was taking steps to address the issue.

The Sangam leaders reiterated their stand of supporting the Karnataka government’s decision in the vexed Cauvery issue from the very beginning.

Parameshwara has assured “full protection” for Tamils living in the state and said security was provided to the places where the community had a considerable presence, Damodaran said.

The Cauvery row heated up after the Supreme Court yesterday directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to address the plight of the farmers there.

The apex court’s direction triggered an immediate backlash with farmers’ associations spearheading a protest and calling for a bandh today at Mandya district.

In 1991, Bengaluru and Mysuru had witnessed anti-Tamil violence which had forced hundreds of Tamils from southern Karnataka to flee in a matter of weeks.
Eighteen people were killed in the violence during the Cauvery turmoil then.

Cauvery row: Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway blocked, protests intensify

Mandya Sep 6, 2016, (PTI): Agitated farmers and activists belonging to pro-Kannada outfits today blocked Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway as protests intensified in the wake of the Supreme Court directive to the state to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Mandya district, the nucleus of Cauvery politics, saw a bandh with protesters holding road blockades and dharnas at several places, as hundreds of security personnel, including Central forces, were deployed in the Cauvery belt to maintain law and order.

Prohibitory orders have been clamped around Krishnarajasagar Dam and entry of visitors to it prohibited till September nine, as the Cauvery row hotted up after the Supreme Court direction to Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to address the plight of the farmers there.

Protesters also mobbed and ransacked several government offices in Mandya forcing their shut down, while attendance at government offices remained thin, police said.

The Supreme Court’s direction yesterday triggered an immediate backlash with the farmers’ body spearheading the stir, calling for a bandh today in Mandya district.

Shops, hotels and other commercial establishments and theatres and hotels remained shut and schools and colleges declared a holiday in the district where state run and private buses are also not plying.

Protests are also being held in Mysuru and Hassan districts, fed by the Cauvery, demanding that Karnataka should not release water. Venting their anger, protesters burnt effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at several places.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is holding a meeting of senior Ministers, legal experts and officials, has also invited legislature floor leaders and MPs later today to discuss the further course of action.

Meanwhile, the government appealed to people not to resort to agitation and to maintain calm. “My appeal to the public is that don’t resort to agitation…and keep calm and we will make all efforts to protect the interest of the farmers,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters in Bengaluru.

Jayachandra said people should maintain calm as it is an order by the Supreme Court and the government needs to go before the Cauvery supervisory committee and convince it.

“My appeal is be calm, and don’t spoil any government property or anything because it is a Supreme Court order. We have to go before the Supervisory Committee and we want to try to convince (it) also,” the Minister said.

Former Chief Minister and State BJP President B S Yeddiyurappa asked the government to file a petition countering the Supreme Court order. In Mandya city, Kannada Rakshna Vedike outfit activists held a bike rally and burnt the effigy of Jayalalitha.

G Madegowda, President of Cauvery Hita Rakshana Samithi, the body spearheading the agitation, criticised the chief minister and irrigation minister for their “irresponsible” behaviour over the Cauvery issue. He also called the district MLAs to resign enmasse to protest against the “injustice.”

Cauvery water row: Bandh in Mandya, CM to convene all-party meet

Mandya, Sep 06, 2016, Agencies: A bandh called by the Cauvery Horata Samiti to protest against the Supreme Court verdict to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu evoked a strong response in Mandya.

Hundreds of people blocked Bengaluru- Mysuru highway and 700 state-run buses were taken off roads on Tuesday morning. Farmers are protesting in different parts of Mandya district.

Protesters urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah not to discharge water as the State is reeling under a severe drought. Around 2400 cops have been deployed across Mandya district to monitor the situation. Schools and colleges in the district have been shut for the day.

Siddaramaiah has called an all party meeting today evening to take stock of the situation. Effigies and posters of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa were burnt in some places in these districts. ‘Karnataka Okkuta’, led by Vatal Nagaraj, has called for a Karnataka bandh on September 9.

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