Bengaluru City Police Monday imposed Section 144 in the city as violence erupted over the Cauvery water dispute, with pro-Kannada protesters setting vehicles on fire and pelting stones at shops. “As a preventive measure, Section 144 CrPC imposed in Bengaluru City from 5 PM, today,” Bengaluru Police said.
On Monday afternoon, protesters targeted vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu registration numbers and set them on fire. They also vandalised trucks near Hubli bypass in Karnataka. The Bengaluru Police have appealed for calm and urged Bengalurians to not pay heed to rumours. Around 270 police patrol vehicles have been deployed across the city in the wake of the protests, said city police.
Bus services running from Bengaluru to Tamil Nadu were temporarily suspended as pro-Kannada activists vandalised shops at the bus station. Metro services were also briefly suspended in the city. Three cases of vehicles being set ablaze were also reported in the neighbouring Mysuru city. The situation is reportedly under control and is returning back to normalcy in Mysuru.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also appealed for peace and wrote to his counterpart in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, urging her to ensure the safety of Kannada speaking people living in the state. He also urged the Tamil Nadu authorities to take action against those indulging in violence. Petrol bombs were hurled at a hotel run by a Kannada native in Chennai on Monday morning. On Saturday, an engineering student from Tamil Nadu, studying at a private college in Bengaluru, was beaten up by pro-Kannada activists for mocking Kannada film stars who came out in support of the Cauvery agitation.