Bharat Bandh: Security tightened in Karnataka
Security has been tightened in the State, particularly in Bengaluru city, in the wake of nationwide bandh call given by farmers’ organisations on Monday.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has instructed the police to take all precautionary measures to maintain law and order as well as peace. He has particularly asked the police to dedicated special attention on Bengaluru city, district centres and sensitive areas. Over 15 platoons of KSRP and CAR battalion along with the city police will monitor law and order in Bengaluru. City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said patrolling had been intensified to ensure that protesters do not block roads and cause inconvenience to the general public. Forcing anyone to participate in bandh would attract strict action, he warned. The police had been instructed not to allow rasta roko or blocking of roads, he said.
The nationwide strike call given by farmers’ association is unlikely to impact transport services. The KSRTC will run buses as usual. The KSRTC has sought police protection from the jurisdictional police. In the State capital, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will operate buses as per schedules. The Namma Metro services by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) will be available as usual. Some auto and taxi unions have supported the bandh, however, a majority of the drivers are likely to ply on Monday.
Schools and colleges will function as usual on Monday. R. Vishal, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said that the schools and examination would be held as usual as public transport would not be affected. Private school managements, however, said that they would show solidarity with farmers by conducting classes wearing a green badge.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Farmers have a right to protest. But they should not shut down the country in the name of Bharat Bandh. It will adversely affect everyone. The economy is slowly getting back to normalcy. Farmers should not do anything to cripple the economy. Farmers have to cooperate with the government and see that the other sectors of the economy will get a chance to recover.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress and Janata Dal (S) have extended support to the bandh.
Stating that the bandh should be observed peacefully, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said his party would support any pro-people movement. “Our party will work for the good of the people. If public interest is threatened, we will raise our voice on every platform,” he said.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar also said that the Congress would extend its support to the peaceful bandh, and alleged that the Narendra Modi-led Union government had been following anti-farmer policies for the past seven years. The Centre had been supporting a few industrialists at the cost of farmers.
The Samyuktha Kisan Morcha will hold a protest at Maurya Circle here along with several other like-minded organisations on Monday, a release said.