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Violence-hit Karnataka seeks more central forces

Statesman News Service |

Violence-hit Karnataka on Monday sought additional security forces from the Union Government to maintain peace during festivals after angry protests and violence rocked Bengaluru and Mysuru over the Supreme Court’s latest order to release more Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.

"Though the situation is under control, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to rush additional forces to the state in view of Bakrid and Onam festivals and immersion of idols on the 10th day of the Ganesha festival this week," said an official statement here.

In a telephonic conversation, the chief minister also briefed Rajnath Singh about the uneasy situation in the state’s southern region after reports of Kannadigas have been assaulted in Chennai and vehicles bearing Karnataka registration numbers attacked in Tamil Nadu.

"Singh has responded positively to the chief minister’s request to immediately rush additional forces to the state as a precautionary measure," added the statement.

In a related development, Siddaramaiah urged his Tamil Nadu counterpart J. Jayalalithaa to ensure the safety of Kannadigas living in Chennai and other parts of her state and security of their property.

"The chief minister has written a letter to Jayalalithaa, seeking protection of Kannadigas after a few of them were assaulted in Chennai and their vehicles, including private buses were attacked earlier in the day," said an official.

Reports of assaults and attacks on Kannadigas in Chennai and Coimbatore sparked off violent protests in Bengaluru, Mandya and Mysuru and caused unrest in the state’s southern region, which is simmering with discontent over the release of more Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu on the Supreme Court’s order.

Siddaramaiah also assured Jayalalithaa of protecting Tamils living in Bengaluru, Mysuru and other parts of the state and ensuring safety of their property.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav and state Director General of Police Om Prakash spoke to their Tamil Nadu counterparts to act against culprits who assaulted Kannadigas and damaged their property, including an upscale hotel (Woodlands) run by a prominent hospitality chain in Karnataka.