Bengaluru, Sep 12 (IANS) Widespread violence broke out in southern Karnataka on Monday over the apex court order to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, with protesters torching over 20 buses in a bus depot in Bengaluru.
The KPN bus depot here glowed orange as flames leapt up and smoke engulfed the sky.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has called an emergency Cabinet meet on Tuesday morning to discuss the Cauvery issue.
The city police has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a preventive measure in Bengaluru city from Monday evening.
Pro-Kannada protesters also pelted stones at lorries bearing Tamil Nadu registration numbers near Hubli Bypass and also vandalised many vehicles.
Hundreds of pro-Kannada activists staged demonstrations in many areas of the city protesting attacks on Kannadigas and Karnataka-registered buses in Chennai and some parts of Tamil Nadu earlier in the day.
In view of the brewing tension, inter-state buses with Tamil Nadu registration suspended services to the neighbouring state. Trucks and other vehicles also withdrew operating in the city.
Tension was brewing in the city and across the Mysuru region, including Mandya since afternoon after the apex court directed Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs daily from Tuesday up to September 20 in response to the state’s interim petition to allow it only 10,000 cusecs daily for six days – from September 7 to September 12.
Security has been beefed up for business establishments owned by Kannadigas and also outside the homes of noted Kannada personalities in Tamil Nadu, police said on Monday.
Police also said action has been taken against the assailants who had attacked a hotel.
In Tamil Nadu, a group of unidentified assailants attacked the New Woodlands Hotel, owned by a Kannadiga, in Mylapore over the Cauvery row.
A hotel employee confirmed the incident, adding that no one was injured in the attack.
The arson and rioting erupted as the Supreme Court on Monday told the Karnataka government to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu every day till September 20, modifying its earlier order of 15,000 cusecs.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit gave the direction while modifying its September 5 order by which it had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water every day for the next ten days.
It also rejected Karnataka’s plea to keep the September 5 order in abeyance.
Noting that the meeting of the Cauvery supervisory committee that would examine Tamil Nadu’s plea for the release of 35 TMC of Cauvery water is commencing on Monday and would take time to complete its job, the court directed the next hearing of the matter on September 20.
The bench by its September 5 order had asked the committee to examine Tamil Nadu’s application.
The order on Monday came after a special hearing on Karnataka’s application seeking that the September 5 order be kept in abeyance contending that as while 15,000 cusecs of water was released every day to Tamil Nadu, but it was utilising just 1,250 cusecs.