A call for a statewide dawn-to-dusk shutdown given by pro-Kannada outfits received a poor response across Karnataka, though it was partly successful in Bengaluru, Belagavi, Chitradurga and Koppal districts on Saturday even as transport services remained unaffected in most parts of the state.
There were reports that some miscreants pelted buses with stones in areas like Attiblele, and Chandapura on the Bengaluru-Tamil Nadu border on Saturday morning.
Along with pro-Kannada outfits, several taxi drivers’ unions and auto-rickshaw drivers’ unions lent support to the shutdown, affecting vehicular movement. Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation however operated its buses, giving relief to commuters in the city in the early morning hours.
Police had rounded up rowdy elements by Friday night as a precautionary measure. In Bengaluru West Division with 24 police stations, police had rounded up more than 100 rowdies.
Nearly 1,000 pro-Kannada outfits gave the shutdown call after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced his decision to form the Karnataka Maratha Development Board about a fortnight ago.
Kannada activists have always had a tussle with the Marathas in the bordering district of Belagavi and accused the Karnataka CM of indulging in “appeasement politics”. They are demanding the state government to withdraw the order to set up the Maratha Board.
However, both Yediyurappa and Home Minister Bassavaraj Bommai have consistently urged pro-Kannada outfits to call off their shutdown plan, but they remained adamant and went ahead with their decision to call for the shutdown.