The protests in Karnataka, which have erupted since the Supreme Court ruling directing the state government to share water from Cauvery basin with neighbouring state Tamil Nadu, took a turn for the worst with two people dying in clashes in Bengaluru where pro-Kanadda protesters have vandalised public property and torched several vehicles.
Condemning the clashes, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued a statement urging protesters to not resort to violence. He asserted that though “hard to follow”, the state government will implement the SC directive and release water for Tamil Nadu. The Karnataka CM also highlighted that the government’s inability to implement the September 5 judgment as the reason why the original order was modified.
The apex court had directed the Karnataka government to release 15000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for farmers. Modifying its earlier order, SC on Monday directed the Siddaramaiah government to release 12000 cusecs till September 20.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made an appeal to the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to find a solution through “restraint and mutual dialogue”, adding that he was “personally pained at the developments.” In a series of tweets, the prime minister said, “The violence and arson seen in the last two days is only causing loss to the poor, and to our nation’s property. This dispute can only be solved within the legal ambit. Breaking the law is not a viable alternative. Violence cannot provide a solution to any problem. In a democracy, solutions are found through restraint and mutual dialogue”.
The protests which have been raging on since Monday pushed the city under curfew, forcing business in the IT hub like Flipkart, Ola, Amazon and E&Y to shut down their offices. Imposed late Monday night, the curfew continued to remain in force in 16 police station limits of the state capital which is under prohibitory orders till September 14. Bengaluru Police imposed Section 144 of the CrPC at 5 pm on Monday, which in effect means no more than five people will be allowed to gather in public places in the city.