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Krishna apologises, farmers protest

New Delhi, Oct. 28: Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna today dropped his defiance to tender an “unconditional apology” to the Supreme Court for not obeying its orders and said his state has started releasing 10,000 cusecs of Cauvery waters daily to Tamil Nadu.

“We are happy to know that a constitutional crisis has blown over,” the bench of Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal and Justices Y.K. Sabharwal and Arijit Passayat said. The court, however, took the apology “only on record” without accepting it, saying it would verify the release of water.

The bench fixed November 1 for further hearing on the two contempt petitions filed by Tamil Nadu against Krishna.

Karnataka’s counsel Anil Diwan read out Krishna’s affidavit, which said: “In deference to the observations made by the Supreme Court during the course of the hearing that Government of Karnataka is prima facie guilty of contempt of court, I express my unconditional apology.” Krishna said “Karnataka has already started releasing waters from its reservoirs” on an ad hoc basis.

Counsel for Tamil Nadu K.K. Venugopal said the apology was a “lip service” as it was done only in the face of contempt proceedings..

The bench said: “We have not yet accepted the apology. It is only on record. Let’s see how things work out. Let’s see whether your farmers get water and also those farmers in Pondicherry.”

In Karnataka, hundreds of farmers courted arrest in Mandya and Mysore protesting against the release of water. The farmers were arrested while marching to the Krishna Raja Sagar dam this morning.

The demonstrators were led by G. Madegowda of the Mandya District Farmers Protection Committee, which had attacked trains and buses in the past two months.

Police have issued prohibitory orders in Mysore and Mandya.

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