One killed in firing; curfew in 16 city areas
Bengaluru, Sep 13, 2016, DHNS: One person was killed and several others, including 10 policemen, were injured on Monday when police fired at a mob in Rajagopalnagar near Peenya, as violence broke out in the city amid the raging Cauvery water-sharing row.
Shoot-at-sight orders were issued and curfew was imposed in 16 police station areas where large-scale arson and violence were witnessed, City Police Commissioner N S Megharikh told DH, adding that they will review the orders after 10 am on Tuesday.
These orders have been issued in Rajagopalnagar, Kamakshipalya, Vijayanagar, Byatarayanapura (Mysuru Road), Kengeri, Magadi Road, Rajajinagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, K P Agrahara, Chandra Layout, Yeshwanthpur, Mahalakshmi Layout, Peenya, RMC Yard, Nandini Layout and Jnanabharathi. There could be an increase in the number of areas where curfew will be declared, Megharikh said.
Umesh (28), a petrol bunk employee, died in the firing by Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel. The force was travelling in a BMTC bus along Hegganahalli main road in Rajagopalnagar when a mob surrounded the vehicle and set it ablaze, forcing the personnel to open fire.
Doctors at Victoria Hospital said a bullet pierced his back and heart.
They declared Umesh, a native of Singhanahalli of Huliyurdurga in Tumakuru, brought dead.
The injured are Chandramohan Singh, Rajesh and Pradeep, who are being treated in different hospitals in the city.
The police have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 till Wednesday in Bengaluru.
Prohibitory orders have also been clamped in Pandavapura, Mandya and Mysuru, and at the four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin.
Home Minister G Parameshwara said a video showing a Kannadiga being purportedly beaten up by Tamil youths was broadcast by a few local news channels and went viral on social media, and this triggered the violence in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mandya. The Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to release more Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu also had a cascading effect.
Bus services between the two states were suspended from noon after goons set ablaze several vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu registration, while many theatres stopped screening Tamil movies.
Salem-based KPN Travels was one of the worst hit, with as many as 50 of its buses being gutted at their Mysuru Road depot near Nayandahalli. In a related incident, at least 25 trucks parked inside the Gokulraj Company in New Timber Layout in Avalahalli were torched. More than 100 vehicles were damaged, an official said.
With rumours spreading thick and fast, thousands were stranded all over the city as Namma Metro suspended operations, followed by the BMTC withdrawing services in troubled areas like Mysuru Road, Peenya and K R Puram, among others. A few ‘activists’ with yellow-red shawls were seen forcibly shutting shops all over Bengaluru. Some offices asked their staff to go home, and many helpless employees were seen struggling to get back.
Students worst hit
Students were the worst affected as educational institutions declared a holiday and asked parents to pick up their wards. Some college students had to walk for a few kilometres as they were very few buses plying.
The police have intensified security in volatile areas across the city and parts of the state. “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in a letter to his counterpart in Tamil Nadu, has ensured the safety of Tamilians in the state and expected the same for Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu.
“A few tourists from the state were stuck at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu on Monday. DG&IGP Om Prakash spoke to the tourists as well as senior police officials in Tamil Nadu, who assured him that the tourists would be sent back safely,” Parameshwara said.
The home minister instructed Om Prakash and other senior officials to ensure peaceful celebration of Bakrid.
“The jurisdictional police will take a final call on allowing Bakrid and Ganesha immersion processions in sensitive areas. We had received 10 companies of Central security forces for the past five days. After today’s protests, we have asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for an additional 10 companies, including ITBP, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Central Reserve Police Force,” Parameshwara said.
Anticipating a shutdown, people rushed to a petrol pump opposite the BSNL telephone exchange on Outer Ring Road in Hosakerehalli.
However, a rally of protesters forced the staff to stop operations.