A widespread disruption is anticipated in the normal routine of life, particularly in southern Karnataka, as pro-Kannada and farmers' organizations unite to call for a 'Karnataka Bandh' on Friday. The protest is directed against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The 'Kannada Okkuta,' a collective of Kannada outfits and farmers' bodies, has declared a statewide dawn-to-dusk shutdown.
A significant rally is expected to traverse from Town Hall to Freedom Park in the city, drawing participants from various sections of society, according to the organizers. The organizers emphasize that the bandh encompasses the entire state, aiming to impact highways, toll gates, rail services, and airports, PTI reported.
Joining the cause, both the opposition BJP and JD(S) express their support for the bandh. Associations like hotels, autorickshaws, and hail riders also stand in solidarity. The Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union and Ola Uber Drivers and Owners’ Association (OUDOA) have announced their support, planning a rally from Nayandahalli to Freedom Park.
Even the Karnataka State Private Schools’ Association extends 'moral support' to the bandh, advising members to use discretion, potentially leading to school closures. The Bruhath Bangalore Hotel Association lends its 'moral support' while deciding on whether to shut restaurants and eateries for the entire day.
Despite the widespread backing for the bandh, the State Transport Department instructs state transport corporations to maintain regular services. Meanwhile, farmers and traders in northern Karnataka express 'moral support' but affirm that they will not close their businesses.
Simultaneously, in the Cauvery heartland of Mandya, activists stage protests against the perceived leniency of the state government towards Tamil Nadu in the Cauvery water release matter. Alleging negligence, they have been engaged in agitation for the past 15 days.