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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Karnataka bandh: Isolated incidents of stone-pelting but no major impact on normal life

Isolated incidents of stone-pelting on buses at K R Puram and Chandpura in Bengaluru were reported, but the bandh went on peacefully.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru | Updated: December 5, 2020 9:02:42 pm
Pro Kannada activists who tried to gather near the Town Hall in Bengaluru for staging demonstrations were detained by police and later released.

The Karnataka Bandh called by various pro Kannada organisations on Saturday had no major impact on normal life. The bandh was called to oppose the state government’s decision to create a Maratha Development Authority. Various Kannada organisations like Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha took to streets across the state while few people did demonstrations by burning effigies.

Isolated incidents of stone-pelting on buses at K R Puram and Chandpura in Bengaluru were reported, but the bandh went on peacefully.

Auto rickshaws, cabs, taxis, public transport buses like KSRTC, BMTC and metro train services were available throughout the day and hotels, shops, and malls were open.

Vehicular movement across the state was unaffected and in Bengaluru there was traffic in almost all the areas as usual. Pro Kannada activists who tried to gather near the Town Hall in Bengaluru for staging demonstrations were detained by police and later released. Protests by various organisations were reported in Bengaluru rural, Mandya, Mysuru, Dharwad, Chamarajanagara, Gadag, Koppa, Hassan, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Davangere, Bagalkote, and Chikkamagaluru among other districts.

Pro-Kannada groups had given a call for a Karnataka bandh on December 5

Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha President who called for state wide bandh, along with other leaders of Kannada organisations were detained near Town Hall by the police when they were on the way to conduct the protest.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike President Narayana Gowda along with other members were detained by police as they tried to march towards the Chief Minister’s residence. Bengaluru police had tightened security from early morning across the city including at the Chief Minister office- Krishna, Town Hall, Corporation circle and Freedom Park.

Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru, Nagaraj said that about 25,000-30,00 Kannada activists were detained across the state to foil the protest and the bandh.

“We will continue our fight until Yediyurappa resigns and the order on establishing the corporation is withdrawn,” he said. He also threatened “jail bharo” protest and said a meeting has been called on December 9 in this regard.

The state government recently announced setting up a Maratha development board, with a fund of Rs 50 crore. The move to constitute a separate board for Marathi-speaking people has sparked protests among pro-Kannada groups, who had given a call for a Karnataka bandh on December 5, on account of opposition to neighbouring Maharashtra’s claims on border regions of Karnataka, which have large Marathi-speaking populations.

After a Cabinet meeting on November 18, state Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said, “The Cabinet has approved the creation of the Maratha Development Board and it has been decided in principle to create a Lingayat Veerashaiva Development Board.”

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