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Violent mobs burnt vehicles and vandalised shops over Cauvery waters dispute across Bengaluru

Violent mobs burnt vehicles and vandalised shops across Bengaluru on Monday as 15,000 police personnel struggled to contain the violence that erupted after the Supreme Court turned down Karnataka’s plea to temporarily stop the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Hundreds of policemen and patrol vehicles fanned across the Tamil-majority areas in Bengaluru amid fears of attacks on people from Tamil Nadu by pro-Kannada elements, incensed by a court order to share water with Karnataka’s neighbouring state.

Authorities shut down many schools in the city, suspended the Bengaluru Metro services and stopped buses from plying into Tamil Nadu but struggled to contain the fresh bout of violent protests that rocked India’s IT capital.

As a preventive measure, Section 144 CrPC was imposed in Bengaluru City from 5pm. Section 144 imposes restrictions on assembly of people in public area.

“We have intensified security and stepped up vigil to ensure peace. Additional police forces have been deployed in localities where Tamils live for their protection,” state home minister G Parameshwar told reporters.

The demonstrations began after the Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day till September 20.

It rapped the state government for citing public unrest as a ground for seeking a modification of its earlier September 5 order to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu per day for 10 days. Karnataka indicated it will appeal against the order.

“Citizens cannot become a law unto themselves. Once the Supreme Court orders a bench of justice Dipak Misra and justice UU Lalit said.

The bench — which heard the petition on a holiday — reduced the daily quantum of Cauvery water to be released by Karnataka but increased the duration of the order.

As violence spread, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart, J Jayalalithaa, over attacks on Kannadiga people in Chennai and other cities, demanding strict action in the violence.

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