Shutdown hits normal life in Karnataka

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Bangalore – A day-long shutdown to protest the release of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu crippled life in Karnataka Saturday.

The state-wide shutdown called by farmers and pro-Kannada organisations is supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular.

Uneasy calm prevailed in Bangalore and other cities and towns of the state.

“The 12-hour shutdown began at 6 a.m. There were stray incidents of road blockade, forcible closure of shops and damage to a couple of state-run buses,” a senior police official told IANS here.

The state-run transport services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) were suspended amid fears of damage to the vehicles by miscreants.

Although train and flight services remained unaffected, passengers were stranded at the railway station here, as autorickshaws and taxis remained off the roads.

The state education department late Friday advised schools and colleges to declare a holiday Saturday to ensure safety of students during the bandh.

Companies offering 24×7 services like call centres and business process outsourcing had to make arrangements to escort their employees to work and back home.

With commercial establishments like shops, malls, restaurants and petrol pumps shut, life has virtually come to a standstill in the state capital, Mysore, Hassan, Mangalore, Hubli, Belgaum and Shimoga.

Supply of essential commodities like milk and medicines and ambulance service were, however, exempted from the shutdown.

The security has been beefed up across the state.

Additional police personnel were deployed at vital installations and sensitive areas, especially in Bangalore.

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