Cauvery protests erupt in Karna, TN


Protests erupted today in the Cauvery heartland over Karnataka government's decision to release water to Tamil Nadu with the issue rocking the assembly forcing its adjournment for the day following uproarious scenes.

Facing protests and Opposition heat, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar rushed to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat to seek their intervention as the state itself was facing a distress situation.

As Karnataka began releasing 10,000 cusecs late last night complying with the Supreme Court directive, attempts were made to block roads on Bangalore-Mysore highway here, prompting police to step up security.

The protesters including farmers stormed the Deputy Commissioner's office here and laid siege to it demanding immediate stoppage of water release.

Cauvery Hitarakshana Samithi, a body of farmers spearheading the stir, has given a call for Mandya district bandh tomorrow.

The district administration has declared holiday for schools and colleges for two days from today. Protests also broke out in Chamarajanagar, another Cauvery basin district.

Vehicles have stopped plying from Sathyamangalam near Erode in Tamil Nadu to Mysore following demonstrations and hartal by some Kannada groups in parts of Karnataka.

For the second consecutive day, more than 800 lorries, 300 vans and 200 other vehicles have been parked at Sathyamangalam, Bannari check-post and near Thimbam.

Police are maintaining tight vigil on the Tamil Nadu- Karnataka border at Karapallam and Puzhinjure.

Shops in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts remained closed condemning the attitude of the Karnataka government on cauvery water releaseIn Tiruvarur, the Nagore-Ernakulam train was blocked for an hour by local traders, 200 of whom were arrested, while in Thanjavur district more than 100 farmers participated in the train blockade agitation.

Both the Houses of the Karnataka Legislature, whose winter session is being held at Belgaum, witnessed furore with Opposition Congress and JDS hitting out at the government for "failure" to protect the farmers' interest.

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