Bangalore, Oct 6 : 'Karnataka Bandh', called to protest against release of water from river Cauvery to Tamil Nadu evoked total response in the State throwing normal life oout of gear.
Agitators protested in front of the residence of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who was former Chief Minister who hails from Mandya in the Cauvery belt and tried to lay seize to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar's official residence 'Krishna'. However, the Police present there scuttled their attempts. Mr Krishna, who is currently on a tour of U S, has written a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who is also Chairman of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), appealing to him to take immediately order about keeping in abeyance his September 19 order directing Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water per day till October 15.
In Kolar and Chamarajanagara, the agitators held a mock funeral procession with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and in some places her effigy was burnt to express their anguish over release of water. Schools and colleges were declared holiday in Tumkur, Bellary, Chikmagalur, Bangalore, Hassan, Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajnagar Districts. However, normal life was not affected in Haveri, Gadag, Bijapur and Raichur Districts.
All most all the roads wore deserted look with shops and business establishments downing their shutters in support of the Bandh call. About 20 buses were damaged forcing the KSRTC and BMTC to withdraw services. Even cable owners suspended beaming entertainment channels. Only news channels were beamed by the cable operators. Film Chamber of Commerce, which has extended its support to the agitation, suspended Film activities and Cinema owners have suspended shows.
In Shimoga, the agitators forced closure of a five star hotel owned by Lok Sabha member B Y Raghavendra, son of Mr Yeddyurappa. Air passengers arrving from aborad and domestic were stranded at Bangalore International Airport as the agitators forced Cab service and Buses plying. Additional security has been deployed to provide protection to the passengers. Food was supplied to them and accomodation was also arranged for their stay.
Most of the IT companies functioning in Electronic City, on the outskirts declared a holiday due to lack of transport for the employees. At Wipro office in Mysore, which was functioning with board on the front door 'Closed' was forced to close down by the agitators, who enraged over the authorities initial refusal to shut, damaged flower pots, some computers and LCD tv. Police said that barring stray incident of stone pelting in Bangalore, no untoward incident reported from any part of the State.