Free Press Journal

Normalcy appears to return, Karna decides to obey SC modified order      


Commuters drive past the skeletal remains of a Karnataka state transport bus in Bangalore on September 13, 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm September 13, in the Indian tech hub of Bangalore which has been placed under curfew after deadly violence erupted over a long-running dispute with a neighbouring state over access to water. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN

Bengaluru: A day after being rocked by large-scale violence, the city appeared to limp back to normal today with sporadic protests, even as the Karnataka government decided to comply with the Supreme Court’s modified order to release 12,000 cusecs of water Tamil Nadu till September 20.

As the Cauvery unrest kept the country’s IT capital on the boil, the government warned of dealing with an “iron hand” any violence after an emergency cabinet meeting which took stock of the situation and decided to comply with the Apex Court order passed yesterday.

A 30-year-old man died today of multiple injuries he suffered while escaping police lathicharge when he jumped in panic from a three-storey building here yesterday, police said, with the toll in the unrest over Cauvery row rising to two.

One person had died in police firing yesterday.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the victim did not die due to police action, but due to the injuries he had suffered.

Facing more pressure after the Apex Court’s modified order, Siddaramaiah held an emergency cabinet meeting which decided that though it was “most difficult” to follow, the direction could not be disobeyed or rejected as it would be against the Constitution.

“This order is the most difficult to follow. But when we are functioning within the framework of the Constitution, though it is a difficult order, as a constitutionally formed government it is difficult to violate or reject the Supreme Court order. It will be a violation of the Constitution,” he told reporters here.

Siddaramaiah said the cabinet, after weighing the pros and cons “constitutionally, legally and politically” and keeping in mind the main Special Leave Petition challenging the Cauvery tribunal’s final award coming up on October 18, decided to obey the court order.

He said the first order passed on September 5 itself was difficult and yesterday’s was “most difficult” to follow.

“But we have accepted the federal set up and that the legislature, executive and judiciary should function in a way complementary to one another,” he said

In its September 5 order, the Apex Court had directed release of 15,000 cusecs for 10 days to ameliorate the plight of farmers of the neighbouring state, which had triggered strong protests from farmers and pro-Kannada outfits with Karnataka observing a bandh against it on September 9.

The chief minister said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention and requesting him to call a meeting of Chief Ministers of both states to resolve the issue.

An immediate appointment had been sought and “probably we will get it tomorrow.”

In Bengaluru, under prohibitory orders till tomorrow and where 16 localities remained under curfew, there were palpable signs of normalcy returning, as city police assisted by central forces kept a close vigil.