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Cauvery protest shutdown

Bangalore, Oct. 6: The country’s IT capital ground to a halt today as a 12-hour bandh called by pro-Kannada groups against the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu ensured a total shutdown in southern parts of Karnataka.

Bangalore and adjoining districts were the worst hit by the strike that had the backing of all major parties like the Congress, BJP and the JD(S) and even the film industry and a key business chamber.

Foreign minister S.M. Krishna, who is from Karnataka, also waded into the tussle, writing to the Prime Minister from the US to stop “further release” of water as the situation was “grim” in the Cauvery basin.

The dawn-to-dusk strike had been called in protest against the Cauvery River Authority (CRA)’s September 19 decision to release water following a Supreme Court directive on a petition by Tamil Nadu.

Members of the Karnataka Protection Forum hit the roads, forcing shops to shut. Offices and academic institutions were affected too. Only chemist shops and ambulance services were allowed to run by the strike enforcers, who deflated tyres of vehicles.