Sunday, September 30, 2012

Inter-State traffic comes to a standstill as Kannada activists resort to road blockade

Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists blocking traffic on the Sathyamangalam - Mysore road on Saturday. Photo: M. Govarthan
The inter-State traffic on the Sathyamangalam - Mysore road in Erode district came to a standstill for several hours on Saturday following demonstration by the Kannada Rakshana Vedike activists in Karnataka protesting against the Supreme Court on Friday directing the State to abide by the Cauvery River Authority’s decision to release water to Tamil Nadu.
Hundreds of trucks and other vehicles proceeding to Karnataka were stopped at Bannari since morning, while vehicles bound for Thalavadi were diverted via Thalamalai.
The traffic on the road was restored after 3 pm.
Over 250 activists of Kannada Rakshana Vedike staged a demonstration at the inter-State border village Pulinjur and resorted to a road blockade.
Police personnel from Chamraj Nagar, having attempted in vain to hold negotiations with the protesters, arrested the activists. Additional police personnel from Sathyamangalam were also deployed at the inter-State border to provide security and regulate traffic.
Traffic on the road, however, remained thin in the evening, as many truck operators decided not to send vehicles to Karnataka.
Peace prevails near Hosur
After the agitation by a Kannada organisation near the Tamil Nadu border on Friday over the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to release 9000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu till October 15, as ordered by Cauvery River Authority (CRA), peace prevailed along the Karnataka border on Saturday.
The activists of the Kannada organisations, during the demonstration on Friday, had burnt effigies of the Prime Minister and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, thus escalating tension.
However, on Saturday, public transport services remained unaffected. As a precautionary measure, police reinforcements had been posted in adequate numbers across the border on either side.
The Krishnagiri district police and Bangalore Rural Police were on high alert along the border to ensure maintenance of law and order and to prevent untoward incidents. The police check posts were also strengthened, police sources here said.

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