India's tech hub under curfew over Cauvery water dispute

Thousands of police and paramilitary officers were deployed on the largely deserted streets of Bengaluru after stone pelting mobs set vehicles ablaze. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Sep 13, 2016, 07.49 AM (IST)
India's tech hub of Bengaluru remains under curfew today, a day after a protester was killed in police firing over southern Karnataka state's long-running Cauvery water dispute with neighbouring Tamil Nadu. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that riots over access to river water in Bengaluru, also called as India's silicon Valley, this week were "distressful" and the dispute must be resolved peacefully. In a series of tweets, he appealed to the people of both the states to maintain calm. 
 
The city in southern Karnataka remains on boil following top court decision's calling on state government to divert some of the water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu. It's pertinent to mention that Bengaluru is home to Indian IT companies as well as offices of international tech giants such as Microsoft and Dell.

"One person died when the police fired to disperse a mob attempting to torch a patrolling police vehicle after ransacking a provisions shop in the city's north," T.R. Suresh, deputy commissioner for Bangalore north told AFP. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for Umesh, a petrol pump employee, who died amid outbreak of violence on Monday  when angry protesters torched vehicles and pelted stones at people. 

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that does not allow gathering of more than four people. 

In the wake of protests, Indian government rushed ten units of Rapid Action Forces (RAF)  on Monday to contain the situation. Thousands of police and paramilitary officers remain deployed on the largely deserted streets of the southern city. 

Meanwhile, at least 200 protesters from Bengaluru have been arrested, officials said, in a bid to quell the violence, which has forced shops, businesses and schools to close.

"We have imposed a curfew for three days from early Tuesday in the city's northwest, southwest, northeast and central areas to maintain peace and prevent untoward incidents during the festival week," Bangalore police commissioner N.S Megharikh told reporters, referring to the Muslim holiday of Eid.

The police has appealed the people not to indulge in rumour-mongering and check social media handles for updates. 

India suffers severe water shortages that cause frequent tensions between states and the row over the Cauvery river stretches back decades.


(WION with inputs agencies)