Mandya, Oct 1 : The agitation by the farmers and other pro-Kannada organisations against release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by the Karnataka Government today intensified with agitators blocking Bangalore-Mysore Highway and affecting train services with dharna demonstration for the second day today.
More then 200 farmers of Gejjalagere of Maddur taluk in the district have stopped the Mysore-Shiradi Express train by setting on the railway track. Even they brought cattle and tied to the track. The agitation was led by Mrs Sunanda Jayaram, farmers' leader. Both railway police and police officials rushed to the spot and tried to convince the farmers to clear the track. However, the farmers did not move from the track. Later they were arrested and taken in a bus.
At this juncture, a youth tried to commit suicide by climbing a tree protesting against the arrest of the agitating farmers, but villagers brought him down. In a high drama the villagers stopped the bus which was carrying the arrested farmers and got them released. Following the stopping of the Shridi Express train, all the train services between Mysore-Bangalore were affected. Trains coming to Mysore from Bangalore trains were stranded at Maddur Station. Vehicular movement on Bangalore-Mysore Highway continued to be disrupted with farmers blocking the highway several at places.
The blocking of the ever-busy Mysore-Bangalore highway continued since yesterday morning, preventing vehicular movement. Hundreds of Kannada Rakshana Vedike (Kannada Protection Forum) activists out a bike rally from Nelamangala to Mandya protesting against the release of water. Meanwhile, Congress MLAs from Mandya District have also threatened to resign if an amicable solution to the problem is not found at the earliest. The Janata Dal (secular) also said all its 26 members in the State Assembly had decided to resign. With train services being affected, roads being blocked and uncertainty prevailing over the buses and private vehicles travelling on Malavalli road towards Bangalore, people might have to burn more petrol or diesel to reach Bangalore as they might be forced to take a longer route via K.R. Nagar, Holenarasipur, Chennarayapatna and reach NH 48 (Bangalore-Mangalore Highway) to reach Bangalore. Scores of people, who had come to Mysore and Kodagu from Bangalore for a weekend, had to toil hard to find their way back today as farmers and other organisations intensified their agitation against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by blocking the Mysore-Bangalore highway and also the train's hea-ding to Bangalore and beyond.
Protesters in Gejjalagere in Mandya stopped the Shiridi Express, which left for Bangalore early morning from Mysore City Railway Station. According to sources, the train had not reached Bangalore even by 1145 hrs. This apart, Chamundi Express and passenger train headed towards Bangalore were stopped at Mandya while Mayilaraduthurai Express, Tuticorin Express and Rajya Rani Express coming towards Mysore were stopped at Maddur and Shettihalli respectively. Protestors slept on the Railway track overnight at Gejjalagere in Mandya to prevent the movement of trains. Some of the protestors who blocked Bangalore-Mysore highway were seen cooking food on the highway and serving it to protestors.
In Mysore activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (T.A.Narayan Gowda faction) staged a unique protest by climbing atop the office of the Deputy Commissioner in city and shouted slogans demanding immediate stopping of release of water to TN. They also blocked Mysore-Nanjangud road near Ganapati Ashram for sometime, severely affecting vehicular movement. Meanwhile, nearly 200 advocates of city formed a human chain around the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the entrance of the Law Courts complex in city expressing solidarity with the striking farmers. In chamarajanagara pro Kannada activists staged road block for some time, the ksrtc authorities have also cancelled the bus services to Tamil nadu from the town. Similar protests were also held in Bangalore in which some film personalities also joined the agitation.