Mangaluru: A Dakshina Kannada bandh (shutdown) had been observed on March 3, 2014, in protest against the proposed Netravati diversion and Yettinahole drinking water project.
The call had been given by the Karavali Jeevanadi Netravati Rakshana Samiti which was supported by various other organizations. As part of it, about 70 to 80 persons had been accused of blocking the national highway at Suratkal on that day.
They had reportedly blocked the movement of vehicles between 9 am and 10.15 am and again between 11 am and 11.15 pm. The police had registered cases against many of them for blocking the highway and burning tyres on it thereby creating an atmosphere of scare and tension.
It was also charged that by such an act, the protesters had obstructed the movement of long-distance travellers and cargo transport vehicles, thereby causing inconvenience.
Now the Suratkal police have chargesheeted 21 persons in this regard. Prominent among them are Samiti president and former MLA K Vijayakumar Shetty as main accused, Hindu Jagarana Vedike leader Satyajit Suratkal, Raita Sangha leader Rohitaksha Rai Kulai, Congress worker Abdul Sattar Krishnapur, corporator Purushottam Chitrapur who has since been elected deputy mayor of the city, corporators Pratibha Kulai, Ayaz Krishnapura and Gunashekhar Shetty, Satish Munchur and others of Hindu Jagarana Vedike, Habib Krishnapura, Abdul Kabir Krishnapura, Gopinath Shenoy, Hamza Iddya, Joseph Pinto Kadambodi, Dennis and others.
Besides, Lokesh Suratkal and Lakshminarayana, two journalists who were on the spot as part of their duty to report the turn of events, have been named as witnesses in the case.
All of them have been served notices to present themselves in the court.