Buses, trucks, cars set ablaze in Karnataka over Cauvery water dispute

Buses, trucks, cars set ablaze in Karnataka over Cauvery water dispute

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Fire, arson, violence, public agitation and arrests followed in both states as the Supreme Court ordered for release of 12,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu.

This row over sharing of water has left one dead in police firing while curfew was imposed in 16 police station limits. Areas under curfew include Rajgopal Nagar, Kamakshipalya, Vijaynagar, Byatarayanpura Kengeri, Magadi Road, Rajajinagar, RR Nagara, KP Agrahara Chandra layout, Yeshwanathapura, Mahalakshmi layout, Peenya, RMC Yard, Nandini Layout and Jnanabharathi.

In spite of curfew, there were many incidents reported of violence. Hundreds of vehicles were set on fire. In one incident, a private bus service operator’s fleet of 30 buses were set ablaze, just because the buses carried a TN registration number plate. Many TN registered cars, trucks were also torched by angry mob.

On the other hand, road blocks between the states has disrupted supply chains. It is believed that each state (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) is losing property worth INR 500 crore a day.

Violence broke out as the decades old dispute continued between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the sharing of water from river Cauvery. This was further aggravated after the Supreme Court turned down Karnataka’s plea to stop the release of water to Tamil Nadu. This resulted in riots which broke out unabated. 200 people have been arrested in Bengaluru while protesters in Tamil Nadu attached the Kannadiga people and businesses in retaliation.

Karnataka has sought reduction in quantum of water to be released and reduction in number of days from 10 days to 6 days as ordered by the court.