Bengaluru: Appealing for calm, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said though the state has been a victim of “injustice”, his government would implement the “difficult” apex court order on sharing Cauvery river water with Tamil Nadu.
Addressing a press conference here after an emergency cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister also urged that the image of ‘Brand Bengaluru’ as India’s tech capital should not be sullied with further violence, as was witnessed on Monday.
Siddaramaiah said he has requested for a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mediate in the Cauvery dispute as both the states could not afford the situation to go out of control.
“Though we are victims of injustice and finding difficulty in implementing the Supreme Court’s fresh order, we are yet releasing water with a heavy heart,” he said.
Siddaramaiah assured the people of Bengaluru, especially Tamils, of protection to them and their property, a day after widespread violence rocked the city over releasing the Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.
Thanking the people for maintaining peace and in restoring normalcy in the city, the Chief Minister said: “As Bangalore is an international city with a global image and a brand as India’s Silicon Valley, I seek cooperation of all, especially media in protecting its reputation.”
Referring to his September 9 letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in resolving the water sharing issue, the Chief Minister said he was waiting for a confirmation from the Prime Minister’s Office for an appointment with Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“I will request the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the chief ministers of the two states (Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) to resolve the issue (sharing of the river water during distress times) through talks/dialogue,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also assured the people of Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysuru drinking water till June next by judiciously utilising the river water despite facing distress due to deficit rains during this year’s monsoon.
He said the state government had decided to impose law and order with an iron hand to maintain peace and tranquility.
Meanwhile, Home Minister G. Paremeshwara said 335 people were arrested in and around Bengaluru since Monday till Tuesday morning for rioting, arson and causing damage to public property.
About 30 protesters more were arrested at Mandya and Mysuru for indulging in violence, including stoning trucks and buses bearing Tamil Nadu registration numbers.
According to preliminary inquiry by the police, 97 vehicles (buses trucks and cars), including 78 in Bengaluru were either torched, burnt or fully destroyed during the violent protests on Monday.
Similarly, 59 vehicles, including 44 in Bengauru were damaged in stone-throwing and other violent incidents.
“The situation in Bangalore and other parts of the state is peaceful and under control. We relaxed the partial curfew in the city for Muslims to offer Eid prayers,” Parameshwara told reporters.
Curfew will remain in force till Thursday in view of the Onam festival on Wednesday and immersion of Lord Ganesha’s idols in lakes and ponds on Thursday.
About 15,000 thousand police personnel have been deployed in Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysuru, including 10 companies of the Rapid Action Force and five companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five companies of the City Armoured Force in Bengalouru to ensure peace and maintain law and order.