Police on Thursday lathicharged a large group of farmers in Bengaluru when they tried to move towards Vidhana Soudha to press the government for a solution to water problems in drought-hit districts.
The farmers came to the capital on Thursday afternoon from several districts like Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Bengaluru rural on their tractors and converged near CM Siddaramaiah’s residence. They were preparing to move towards Vidhana Soudha when the police lathicharged them. Many farmers were injured. The agitating farmers have called for a bandh in Kolar and Chikkaballapur on Friday to protest the lathicharge.
The Opposition has condemned the police action, indicating that the issue may rock the Assembly. “The government should have allowed the farmers to protest and assured them on their demands. The city police commissioner banned the entry of tractors into Bengaluru. The government should clarify who is behind this order,” JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy said.
Earlier, the protest brought traffic in the city’s northern part to a halt for nearly six hours.
On Thursday, police initially tried to stop the farmers at several points on the stretch from Devanahalli to Bengaluru, but the tractors broke through barricades and forcefully made their way to the heart of Bengaluru.
Ahead of the lathicharge, the police detained farmer leaders Kodihalli Chandrashekhar and
R Anjaneya.”The state government has been saying they are going to supply water through Yettinahole lift irrigation project. We have learnt from scientists that the government cannot supply water through this project. We have come to Bengaluru to demand a permanent solution,” Anjaneya said.