|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Karnataka: Bandh affects normal life
October 04, 2006 10:59 IST
A statewide 12-hour bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits on Wednesday on the Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary issue affected normal life in Bangalore and most parts of Karnataka.
The bandh, which began at 6 am, has been called by Karnataka Border Agitation Committee, an umbrella body of Kannada outfits. In Bangalore, most of the shops and commercial establishments remained closed.
Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation ran skeletal services in the morning, but BMTC officials said its continuation would depend on the situation.
Activity in the film industry has also come to a halt.
The bandh has been called to press for the implementation of Mahajan Commission report on the Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary row and to protest what the organisers called "step-motherly" treatment to the state by the Centre.
Most IT firms in the country's technology hub also remained closed due to disruption of transport service, but employees have been asked to work on Saturday.
Government employees have been asked by their associations to go on leave on Wednesday to express their support for the bandh. Cable operators blacked out non-Kannada channels.
Nearly 60,000 police personnel and home guards have been deployed across the state with forces also drawn from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
In Bangalore, police have deployed City Armed Reserve and Rapid Action Force.
Meanwhile, a report from border town Hosur in Tamil Nadu said inter-state road traffic was badly hit. Hundreds of vehicles, including buses, have piled up on the national highway near the border.
Ruling coalition partners in Karnataka, Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular) have extended support to the bandh.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had however appealed to the bandh organisers to call it off, saying the state had already conveyed a message to the Centre and Maharashtra at the special session of the Legislature held last week in Belgaum, where a unanimous resolution on the boundary row was passed.
His appeal was turned down by the bandh organisers.
At the session, held for the first time oustide Bangalore and significantly in Belgaum in the border district with Maharashtra, the state had asked the Centre to implement the Mahajan Commission report in toto.
The Mahajan Commission report, submitted in 1967, had declared that Belgaum, which Maharashtra claims even today, was an integral part of Karnataka and had recommended transfer of a certain number of Marathi speaking areas in the state to Maharashtra and Kannada speaking areas in the neighbouring state to Karnataka.