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Following two days of unrest over the Cauvery issue, normalcy returned to Bengaluru streets Wednesday. Schools, colleges and offices reopened and police withdrew curfew imposed in 16 areas in north and west Bengaluru. Police Commissioner N S Megharikh said curfew was lifted by 9 am, but tight security remained in place in sensitive areas to prevent any untoward incident. The movement of public transport vehicles from Tamil Nadu continued to remain affected.
Pro-Karnataka protesters, incensed by alleged attacks on Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu and a Supreme Court directive to release water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, had attacked the properties of people from Tamil Nadu on Monday. While 78 vehicles were set on fire, 44 others were damaged. Two people were killed in police action during the protests.
Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara Wednesday visited the violence-hit areas in the city with senior police officials.
Meanwhile, Karnataka police have geared up ahead of a rail roko on Thursday. The strike call has been given by pro-Karnataka organisations under the leadership of activist Vatal Nagaraj. Nagaraj said he had called for the rail bandh to draw the Centre’s attention to the Cauvery agitation.
“Extra forces have been deputed in railway stations at Bengaluru city, Yeshwanthapura, Cantonment, Mysuru, Mandya, Tumkuru, Hubballi and Raichur. Policemen will be present at stations across the state. There will no bandh for trains,” an officer of Karnataka Railway police said. Rail schedules may experience delays due to the protest.
Bengaluru city police have requested people not to pay heed to rumours on social media about the Cauvery agitation. “Strong measures will be taken to prevent any mischief. We request all Bengalurians to check for updates only with @BlrCityPolice for genuine news,’’ a police officer said. Police have asked people to contact the railway police helpline 18004251363 or WhatsApp on 9480802140 for news about train movement on Thursday.