Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and seek his assistance in defusing the vexed Cauvery issue. He has sought a private audience with the prime minister who has voiced his distress over the recent violence and urged restraint on both states. PM Modi also said that the dispute can only be solved within the legal ambit and “breaking the law is not a viable alternative”.
Two persons have died in the violence that erupted on Monday. Addressing the media after a long cabinet meeting, Siddaramaiah said he will ask the prime minister to urgently call a meeting of the chief ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to thrash out a permanent solution.
He said Cauvery water is being released to Tamil Nadu off and on and that Karnataka has complied with the orders of the Supreme Court. The final SLP in the matter would be heard by the Supreme Court on October 18 when Karnataka will put before the court the ground realities, the chief minister said. n the law and order situation, he said peace is returning and violence will be met with an iron hand. Over 300 arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile, the violence claimed one more life as one Raju, 30, succumbed to injuries. He had slipped from a balcony while trying to flee from a lathicharge. On Monday, Umesh (28), a petrol bunk employee, had died in police firing.
Bengaluru was relatively calm on Tuesday as the police enforced strict curfew in 16 police station limits. Shoot at sight orders, however, had to be issued in sensitive areas. There was only sporadic violence in small pockets which was brought under control. The state has deployed over 20 platoons of Rapid Action Force and paramilitary forces across the city. The government withdrew buses to prevent any arson and the Metro too operated partially. Schools, colleges and government offices, in any case, observed a holiday in view of Bakrid.
However, people arriving by flights and trains were left stranded as taxis and autorickshaws went off the road. The airport bus services, too, were withdrawn, leaving passengers stranded. Bus services between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu remained suspended for the second day. Both government and private bus services were withdrawn following large-scale violence.
Earlier in the day, Siddaramaiah held a prolonged meeting with senior Congress leaders, including Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Mallilarjuna Kharge, former Union Ministers Veerappa Moily, Oscar Fernandes and Rahim Khan. This was followed by a cabinet meeting.