Mandya (KTK), 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 animmediate 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.