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Protesters block Bangalore-Mysore highway over Cauvery water row

A dawn-to-dusk Karnataka bandh has been called by pro-Kannada outfits on Friday to protest against the Supreme Court’s direction to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu and is likely to throw normal life out of gear. This is the second bandh that the state is bracing for in less than a week’s time and the fourth this year.

Officials said with the bandh on the emotive Cauvery issue is being supported by several organisations, unions and political parties. Public transport will be affected as state transport buses will stay off the roads, and autorickshaw and cab unions are extending their support to bandh. Metro services are also likely to be hit.

Keeping security of students in mind, schools and colleges have declared a holiday and attendance at government offices will not be compulsory, according to officials.

PTI reports that the bandh has evoked a positive response from various parts of the state including Mandya, Mysuru, Ballari, Koppala, Chikkaballapura, Dharwad and Kolar.

In Mandya, the epicenter of the Cauvery protests, agitators have blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway at several places. A section of farmers in the district staged a protest by venturing into the river carrying stones on their head.

In Ballari, three lorries bearing Tamil Nadu registrations were stoned by protesters. The transgender community in the district also took part in the bandh-related demonstrations.

In Bengaluru, while some private companies have declared a holiday, others are making alternate arrangements for employees to “work from home”.

The Cauvery Supervisory Committee will meet on Monday to decide on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states. The Committee, headed by Union Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar, will meet on September 12 to decide on the quantum of Cauvery water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states. The Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry besides officials of the Central Water Commission will attend the meeting, official sources said.

While the Tamil Nadu government had approached the Committee on Wednesday with its demand for more water, the Karnataka government too wrote to the panel with its grievances on releases of water.

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