Violence erupted in Bengaluru and several other parts of Karnataka over the Supreme Court verdict on the Cauvery issue on Monday, even as the apex court modified its earlier order and directed Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily till September 20.
Reports of violence against Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu served as a trigger for the unrest in Karnataka. Rioters took siege of the state capital, attacking vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration and vandalising hotels belonging to Tamils in the city. By evening, violence spread across Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and Hassan. Arson and stone pelting by pro-Kannada groups forced the police to clamp prohibitory orders and deploy the forces across the state. KSRTC, BMTC and Metro services have been suspended. Schools have been declared closed for four days in Mandya.
Said Home Minister G. Parameshwar, "Violence has broken out in the state and we have deployed 10 companies of RAF and CRPF, and 182 companies of KSRP. More than 200 rioters have been detained and section 144 has been clamped in the entire city."
The police opened fire to disperse the mobs who attacked a police patrol van and pelted stones.
The Siddaramaiah government, which called an emergency meeting on Tuesday, has appealed to the people to maintain peace and assured of sound legal remedy to tackle the crisis. Siddaramaiah, in his letter, has urged his Tamil Nadu counterpart J. Jayalalithaa to ensure safety of Kannadigas living in Tamil Nadu. "We are committed to maintaining law and order in our state and protecting call our citizens, including Tamil speaking people. Violence against Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu will incite passions here. So, I urge you to direct your authorities to bring perpetrators of violence to book and protect the Kannadigas in your state," said Siddaramaiah in his letter.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka submitted that it had already released 84,168 cusecs of water (between September 5 and 12), and sought the earlier order directing 15,000 cusecs to be kept in abeyance as the supervisory committee was to meet on Monday to decide on further releases. However, the apex court rejected this plea and posted the next hearing on September 20. The supervisory committee is postponed to September 19.
Expressing unhappiness over the manner in which Karnataka had filed its interim application, the SC observed that "spontaneous agitation" by people could not be the ground for seeking modification of the order. "It is obligation of executive to comply with SC order, citizens cannot become law unto themselves" rapped Justice Dipak Mishra.