Protest in Karnataka against SC verdict on Cauvery water sharing

      Activists staged a mass protest here on Monday against Supreme Court's decision on the issue of water sharing from the Cauvery river with neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Under the banner of Kannada Rakshana Vedike, a hardline pro-Kannadiga outfit, farmers and supporters took the streets in large numbers. They staged mass demonstrations and blocked roads to protest against the apex court’s directive to the Karnataka government to release 9,000 cusecs water of River Cauvery from Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir (KRS) to Tamil Nadu.

One of the activists, Vatal Nagaraj, demanded the resignation of Karnataka government. “This is an intense agitation to save the waters of Karnataka. We have miserably failed in saving the waters, farmers, and state of Karnataka. The state government headed by Jagadish Shettar has released the water, which is injustice. We demand the state government must submit its resignation," he said. The state administration, which had already sounded a high alert after the apex court verdict, was well geared to deal with protesters. Protesters were later dragged into police vehicles. Sharing of river waters has been a bone of contention between the two states for over three decades.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government submitted a petition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to grant a stay on the decision of Cauvery River Authority (CRA) that ordered sharing of water with Tamil Nadu. Earlier, the Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar chaired an all-party meeting here to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling. Prime Minister heads the panel, consisting of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. Karnataka has already filed a plea before the CRA to reconsider its order in wake of rain deficiency and prevailing drought-like situation in the region. Farmers' organisations elsewhere in the state too have launched a stir against the order.

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