Amid rising tensions over the release of Cauvery water, divisions within protesting groups in Bengaluru have resulted in conflicting calls for Bandhs on both Tuesday and Friday. These conflicting announcements have led to several associations, including taxi drivers and hotel owners, retracting their support for the Bandh. Nevertheless, schools will remain closed.
All private schools in Bengaluru have opted to remain shuttered on Tuesday, as declared by the Associated Management of English Medium Schools in Karnataka (KAMS). Bengaluru’s urban deputy commissioner, Dayananda KA, has also proclaimed a holiday for all schools and colleges across the city in anticipation of the Bengaluru Bandh.
Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samithi, has expressed their determination to proceed with the Bandh, which they had announced three days in advance. Shanthakumar clarified, “We have extended invitations to various organizations to participate in the protest, and preparations are in progress. We informed Vatal Nagaraj about these plans, and we even held a meeting today (Monday), but they declined our collaboration.” Shanthakumar stressed that their objective is not political but rather focused on representing the concerns of the people, and they intend to hold the protest as scheduled on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the pro-Kannada group, Kannada Chaluvali, led by Vatal Nagaraj, remains steadfast in their call for a statewide Bandh on Friday. Nagaraj affirmed, “Everyone will support the bandh. We will stage our protest in front of the Raj Bhavan, block national highways, and disrupt airports. Buses, taxis, and autos will join in the bandh.” He also withdrew support for the Bengaluru Bandh on September 26, emphasizing their commitment to a statewide Bandh on September 29.
The Ola Uber Drivers and Owners Association, initially supportive of the Tuesday Bandh, withdrew their backing. Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola Uber Drivers’ and Owners’ Association, clarified, “During a meeting, it was decided that another statewide bandh would be organized. We have chosen to participate in the statewide bandh and have therefore withdrawn our support for the Bengaluru bandh, as participating in both is not feasible.”
On the other hand, Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda stressed that no permission had been granted for the Tuesday Bandh, explicitly prohibiting processions and rallies. He issued a stern warning of stringent action against individuals involved in any untoward incidents and implemented prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 from Monday midnight to Tuesday midnight, limiting public gatherings to no more than five individuals.
The Commissioner’s statement followed Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s reaffirmation of the government’s position on permitting protests in a democratic society. However, he cautioned against disregarding court orders, suggesting that calls for protests and Bandhs without legal compliance could lead to legal consequences.
In contrast, BJP leader BS Yediyurappa extended his party’s support to ensure the success of the Bengaluru Bandh, appealing to all concerned parties to unite in support of the cause while maintaining peace and order in the city. Yediyurappa urged collective cooperation for the Bandh’s success, emphasizing the significance of peaceful collaboration.