Over 350 people have been arrested for vandalism in IT-hub Bengaluru, where buses were burnt and shops were damaged on Monday. 16 areas of the city are still under curfew.
After violence, which may potentially create law and order problem, domestic airlines including national carrier Air India and private carriers – Indigo, Vistara, Jet Airways – announced on Tuesday that they would waive flight cancellation/ rescheduling changes for flights to Bengaluru for a specified period.
Two people died in police firing after cops opened fire on protesters in Bengaluru’s Rajgopalnagar area on Monday evening.
The protests have affected tech companies. Flipkart and Amazon said their operations had been impacted and TeamLease feared “mammoth losses”. The streets were deserted all day on Tuesday. Buses were off the roads and resumed only in the evening.
In tweets on Tuesday morning, the police warned people against rumours. “Please do not blindly believe in messages circulating on WhatsApp,” said one tweet. “Bengaluru situation is totally calm, strict action will be taken against vandals/miscreants,” said another.
The Prime Minister has been asked by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to intervene. Earlier on Tuesday, PM Modi said the situation is “distressful” and added that breaking the law is not a “viable alternative” since it was causing loss to the poor.
On Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to her Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah seeking protection and security for Tamil-speaking people and their properties after 30 buses from Tamil Nadu were set on fire by protesters. Fearing backlash, many Tamils were reportedly leaving Bengaluru.
Trouble resurfaced in the decades-old dispute over the Cauvery river, which flows through Karnataka into Tamil Nadu, after the Supreme Court last week asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to its neighbor
The situation escalated on Monday after a court ruling indicated that Karnataka has to yield more water than it was asked to last week. Karnataka says it does not have enough water for farming or drinking. But Tamil Nadu has told the court its farmers will face a huge crisis without more water.
“The order is hard to follow but we’ll still follow the Supreme Court order,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, urging people not to take law into their hands. He assured drinking water to Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and villages of the Cauvery river basin till June next year.