Bangalore: An 80,000-strong police force will be stationed in Bangalore as Karnataka observes a bandh in protest against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on Saturday. Several Kannada outfits gave a call for a statewide bandh in protest against the Supreme Court's directive to the state government to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily from the river to their neighbouring state that is facing a severe water shortage due to a rainfall deficit.
Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa is expected to join the bandh. Lashing out at the PM-headed tribunal, the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), formed to resolve the dispute over the sharing of water, Yeddyurappa said that its order to release water to Tamil Nadu was 'unpardonable'.
Yeddyurappa, who began a day-long dharna in protest against the CRA order on Friday, demanded that the Prime Minister withdraw the "diktat without delaying even for a moment". He stressed that the Prime Minister should have first sent a central team to the state to study the ground realities before issuing the order.
Even autorickshaw and taxi drivers are expected to join Saturday's bandh affecting the transport services across the state. Lawyers too are expected to boycott work. Security has been stepped up across the state paramilitary forces stationed in the Cauvery belt. Bangalore Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Suneel Kumar said that 40 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and personnel of the City Armed Reserve (CAR) would be positioned in senstive areas of the city.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Friday held a meeting with his two deputies, KS Eswarappa, R Ashok, and other officials on steps to be initiated in view of the bandh. Various organsiations and farmers outfits have also appealed to people to support the bandh.