Water Disputes: Violence hits Karnataka, Tamil Nadu; Supreme Court revises Kaveri water share decision

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, the Supreme Court of India asked Karnataka to release 12000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Kaveri river till September 20 to Tamil Nadu after Karnataka pleaded not to release water. A week ago, the Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release 15000 cusecs of water for ten days. Various cities in both states faced violent attacks.

At least five tourist vehicles with Karnataka registration plate were vandalised in Tamil Nadu. In Bangalore, protestors burned Tamil Nadu vehicles. A Tamil Nadu truck was stoned in Chamarajanagar. Pro-Karnataka activists attacked shops and Tamil people in Pandavapura. Police personnel were reinforced at the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border and it was later sealed.

Path of the Kaveri river.
Image: NaanCoder.

In Tamil Nadu, people vandalised a hotel whose owner was of Kannada origin. They left a note in Tamil, warning Kannada people not to harm Tamilians. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha asking for the safety of Kannada people in Tamil Nadu.

Metro Service in Bengaluru were halted for 20 minutes in the afternoon. Police used lathi-charges to disperse crowds. One person was killed when police used gunfire while confronting vandals under section 144. Considering the security issues, private colleges and schools sent students home.

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said 200 protestors were taken into custody. He also asked the protestors not to vandalise, saying, "Our appeal is if you are protesting, please protest peacefully. We know that injustice has been done to Karnataka. We have deployed sufficient amount of police force. We have got support from Centre".

Mysore city didn't face section 144, but considering the ongoings in Bengaluru, students of the National Institute of Engineering were asked to go home at 4:30 PM. They were also advised not to go in groups, as a precaution against the section 144 clause which prohibits large gatherings.

Bangalore City Police confirmed on Twitter that Section 144 was imposed which would last till September 14. The imposition took place at 5 PM IST. Farmers in Bangalore, Mandya, Mysore and Hassan blocked the roads while protesting the decision.

Kaveri begins in Karnataka, but a major part of the river is in Tamil Nadu. Karnataka has limited water supply for farmers and asked the Supreme Court for releasing only 1000 cusecs of water.

The Supreme Court has announced their next date of hearing on September 20.


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