Cauvery water row: Karnataka govt asks Tamil Nadu to ensure safety of Kannadigas

Bengaluru : Voicing concern over attacks on state vehicles and a hotel run by a native of Karnataka in Tamil Nadu amid the ongoing Cauvery row, the state government on Monday asked its counterpart to take steps for the safety of Kannadigas living there and to protect their property.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he would write to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa to help cooperate in maintaining cordiality between the states, which are now locked in a bitter row over release of Cauvery water. Siddaramaiah said he would also speak to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, if necessary, on the incidents targetting Kannadigas.

The state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police had spoken to their Tamil Nadu counterparts and asked them to ensure stern action against the culprits and that such incidents did not recur, Siddaramaiah told reporters here. While seeking measures to protect the interests of Kannadigas in Tamil Nadu, it had been assured to Tamil Nadu that similarly, steps would be taken for the safety of Tamils in the state and also their property, he said. Siddaramaiah also advised the media “not to glorify” certain incidents relating to “sensitive” issues and be restrained in reporting them.

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said police forces had been deployed in areas where Tamils live in large numbers in Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka. “We have taken precautions.”

He appealed to people of both states not to resort to violence. The state DGP had conveyed to his Tamil Nadu counterpart that safety of Kannadigas be ensured while “equally, we will also ensure that Tamils are safe in Karnataka,” he said.

Asked about a Tamil engineering student being beaten up allegedly by a group of people here for posting ‘derogatory’ remarks against some Kannada actors and against the Cauvery agitation, with a video capturing the incident going viral, he said it was a “small incident”. Parameshwara said the police tried to contact the student but he was not available, adding, “small incidents should not be blown out of proportion.”

Suspected pro-Tamil protesters today attacked and damaged a hotel run by a native of Karnataka in Chennai, damaging its window panes using iron rods and wooden logs. Seven tourist vehicles bearing Karnataka registration parked at a temple in Rameswaram were damaged allegedly by activists of various outfits including Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Tamil Sangam today asked Siddaramaiah to direct the police to maintain law and order and provide security to all Tamils living in the state. “We request you to kindly instruct the police to maintain law and order and provide security to all Tamilians living in the state,” Sangam President Damodaran said.

He also urged the media, especially visual, not to “incite” people of both the states by sensationalising the news of violence. He urged the central government to intervene to solve the vexed problem.