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Cauvery issue: Farmers’ and pro-Kannada outfits observe bandh in Mandya

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BENGALURU/MANDYA (K’TAKA), Sept 23: In the wake of a call by various farmers and pro-Kannada
outfits for a ‘bandh’ to oppose the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from dams in Karnataka,
most of the shops in the district headquarters town of Mandya, the Cauvery heartland, remained closed
on Saturday.
Irrigation department officials told PTI that Karnataka was releasing 5,000 cusecs water to the
neighbouring state as per the Cauvery Water Management Authority’s direction.
Raising slogans alleging injustice to Mandya, where the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam on the Cauvery river is
located, the protesters took out a march here.
They appealed to the people, especially shopkeepers and owners of various other commercial
establishments including petrol and diesel service stations, to cooperate by observing a total bandh.
Extending their support, most of the shops remained shut and those who opened the shops, later closed
down following the appeal by the activists.
A major protest took place at Sanjay Circle in the town where members of Mandya Rakshana Vedike, a
fringe outfit, reached after a bike rally.
They took out a march, raised slogans, staged a sit-in demonstration and rolled on the road alleging
injustice to Mandya and Karnataka.
Security has been beefed up in the town with heavy deployment of police personnel at important
places.
The opposition BJP staged a protest in Bengaluru alleging the failure of the state government with
regard to the Cauvery water sharing issue.
Former chief ministers B S Yediyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai, former ministers, sitting MLAs and several
other leaders and activists took part in the protest at the Mysore Bank Circle. Holding placards, party
flags and empty pitchers, the protesters raised slogans saying Cauvery water belonged to Karnataka.
The leaders were later detained by the police.
Speaking to reporters, Yediyurappa said the state government should file a petition in the Supreme
Court with a request to send a team of experts to see the ground situation and the water level of the
dam.
“In the present situation, when we are unable to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and Mysuru, we
are not in a position to release water,” Yediyurappa said.
To a question on the state government’s appeal to the BJP asking the Centre to intervene, the BJP
stalwart said that former chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has spoken to the Union
home minister Amit Shah regarding the Cauvery issue.
The Janata Dal (Secular) has extended its support to the Mandya bandh. Former chief minister and JD(S)
leader H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday visited the KRS Dam and met the protesting farmers and pro-
Kannada activists.
Regarding his meeting with Amit Shah in New Delhi on the Cauvery issue, Kumaraswamy said, “It’s
(Cauvery) a sensitive issue. I told him (Shah) about the injustice happened to us (Karnataka).”
Reacting to the BJP and the JD(S) allegations that the Congress government’s failure to do secure to
Karnataka, state Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said the state government has been making all
efforts to save the interests of the state as much as possible.

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) had on Monday asked Karnataka to continue
releasing 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for another 15 days, after the Cauvery Water Regulation
Committee (CWRC) made such a recommendation last week.
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with orders of the CWMA and CWRC directing
Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu, following which protests erupted in different
parts of the state.
Amid continuing protests in the state over the Cauvery issue with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the
Karnataka government on Friday said it will take all necessary steps to protect the interests of the
people of the state and its farmers, by ensuring water for both crops and drinking water.
Karnataka has been maintaining that it is not in a position to release water, taking into account its own
requirement for drinking water and irrigation for standing crops in the Cauvery basin areas, as there has
been water scarcity due to deficit monsoon rains. (PTI)

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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