Bandh brings Karnataka to a halt
The statewide bandh call given by various pro-Kannada organisations on Friday is likely to cripple life as transport services, barring trains, will be disrupted between 6 am and 6 pm.
The bandh has been called to protest the Supreme Court’s direction to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said government offices may not be able to function on Friday. “Employees may not be able to reach their offices as there will be no public transport,” he said, hinting that no action would be taken against those who fail to turn up for work. The chief minister also said that a holiday has been declared for schools and colleges.
The commissioner for public instruction declared a holiday in 13 educational districts, while deputy commissioners of the remaining 21 districts have been asked to take a decision based on the situation.
The state transport utilities have extended support to the bandh. Private bus and truck operators in the Old Mysuru region are supporting the bandh, while taxis, including app-based cabs Ola and Uber, will suspend services. The Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners’ Association has also announced support for the cause.
Metro operations may be suspended depending on the situation. Station controllers have been directed to observe the situation and resume services if conducive. Besides transport services, business establishments, including hotels, malls and theatres, will remain closed. Cable operators and DTH associations will terminate services during the bandh hours.
The bandh is likely to receive a moderate to lukewarm response in the Mumbai-Karnataka, Hyderabad-Karnataka and coastal regions.
The home department has made security arrangements across the state to ensure there are no untoward incidents. As many as 60,000 policemen along with Central Paramilitary Force personnel will be deployed. Two companies each of the Central police force from Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have arrived in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah said security measures have been stepped up in the Cauvery basin districts, besides Hubballi.
“We are not preventing the bandh, but it should be peaceful. Those who indulge in stone-pelting and violence will be dealt with sternly,” Siddaramaiah said.
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