BANGALORE: Registering a strong protest against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal verdict, Karnataka, including the country's IT capital Bangalore, came to a standstill for a largely peaceful dawnto-dusk bandh on Monday.

A few instances marred the protest: arson in Mysore, stone-throwing at petrol bunks in Chamarajanagar, at shops in Haveri and Hubli and at a train at Whitefield in Bangalore. Except for Bidar, Raichur and the coastal districts, the entire state shut down. In the coastal districts, it was business as usual, except for closed schools and colleges.

Thanking the people for maintaining peace, chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said he'd meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a one-on-one basis on February 14. "I'll express the state's contention on the Cauvery verdict, before leading a delegation from Karnataka for the same purpose. Historically the Centre has not helped us, but I am still hopeful of a fair solution," he told reporters.

All road transport corporations buses were off the roads except in the coast, 26 flights were cancelled at the Bangalore international airport and about 25 trains either delayed or cancelled statewide.

In several places private bus, auto and taxi operators also shut down services. Banks functioned in some parts of the state. About 1,200 persons were arrested throughout the state, 700 in Bangalore. Section 144 was imposed on the IT city up to midnight.

In Mysore, tension prevailed at the Central Railway Workshops in Ashokapuram after angry activists torched 11 two-wheelers belonging to employees of South Western Railways. Reason: failure to declare a holiday supporting the bandh. The agitators withdrew after officials declared a holiday.

Traffic on the Mysore-Manandavadi road was affected. DG & IGP K R Srinivas said besides the entire police force, 160 platoons of KSRP and 10 campanies of paramilitary forces from the Centre had been deployed.

He stated: "A lot of planning has gone into the security arrangements, the results are out now." In Chamrajanagar, stones were pelted at petrol bunks for operating despite the bandh. At Hubli and Haveri, there was some stone-throwing where shopkeepers didn't down shutters.A woman was injured when the Bangarpet-Bangalore Passenger was stoned by about 100 activists near Whitefield. The state legislature met for about half-an-hour before adjourning for the day even as MLAs in several places participated in the bandh.
Source:13 Feb, 2007 0041hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK Visit
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