Mysore: With the Cauvery agitation gaining momentum, the Tamil population who suffered during the 1991 Cauvery riots are a worried lot. More than 25,000 families living in Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts have sought police protection. Isolated Tamil families, particularly those living in farms across Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts, are scared as Kannada organisations have started giving statements threatening to launch a stir and repeat the 1991 riots if the Tamil Nadu government demanded water.
Though the Tamil-speaking population in the region is happy with the state government after it unveiled poet Tiruvalvar’s statue in Bangalore, and extended protection during the Cauvery issue three years ago, they fear that the riots would endanger many families. Tamil Sangham office-bearers are in touch with its members and have urged them not to be carried away by rumours. They have told isolated families to move to nearby towns or live in groups.
Federation of Tamil Sangam has also shot letters to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Police Commissioner’s office and the SPs of Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts. Federation secretary Pugalande said that they have also sought protection for linguistic minorities, including Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Sangam which has more than 5,000 members in these districts, wanted to hold meetings to clear apprehensions among the community.
Recalling the Cauvery riots, they say that it took many years to recover from the agony they suffered in which more than 5,000 families in Chamarajanagar, H D Kote and other places left the state. Around 9,800 of them lodged complaints claiming compensation, of which 2,000 families were awarded Rs 2.06 crore relief from the Commission that inquired into the riots. However, around 200 of them are yet to get relief of Rs 35 lakh.
Pugalande said that they are not in favour of releasing water to Tamil Nadu and want to express their solidarity with the Karnataka government. He said that they have also called for a meeting to decide on taking out a massive support rally for the ongoing Cauvery agitation by all political parties and farmers of the region. The Sangam members are also keen to tour the region and hold talks with the local leaders and officials to boost confidence and a sense of security among the linguistic minorities.