20,000 protesters storm KRS
By K Shiva Kumar / ENS - KRISHNARAJA SAGAR RESERVOIR:
04th October 2012 09:43 AM
The Cauvery agitation peaked on Wednesday as thousands of farmers including women and youths stormed the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir to protest against the Supreme Court directions to release water to Tamil Nadu.
People in hundreds of buses, trucks, tractors and motorcycles made a beeline for the KRS and tried to barge into the reservoir from the main gate violating prohibitory orders clamped around the reservoir.
They raised slogans, burnt an effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, pelted stones at the police and Rapid Action Force personnel numbering more than 2,000.
The protestors also jumped into the river and protested by standing in the river. Two people who jumped from bridge in protest, suffered fractures and were shifted to a hospital by Karanataka Rakshana Vedike activists.
Though there was poor response initially to the “KRS Chalo” call given by Cauvery River Protection Committee chairman G Made Gowda, more than 20,000 people including women and political party workers from across the Mandya district stormed the reservoir in private buses and trucks.
They also stoned the police bus after a few local legislators along with their supporters tried to court arrest.
Top police officials on duty were worried as a huge crowd started pouring in. They blocked vehicles carrying protesters to KRS from all directions as they found it difficult to handle the situation with people turning violent, attacking politicians, police and the media.
Though irrigation officials reduced the outflow from 5,500 cusecs to 3,500 cusecs for some time during the protests, they increased it to 6,000 cusecs after 4 pm.
Police officers presuming that the situation would go out of control, summoned a few more platoons and also hired more than three dozen buses to arrest the agitating farmers.
Protesters also pulled down barricades erected to stop them from entering reservoirs. Two personnel from the RAF suffered injuries on the head and shoulder after farmers threw stones and slippers at them. The protestors were seen running helter skelter when police advanced to disperse them. KRRS leader K S Puttanniah and Made Gowda set a 3 pm deadline to the government to stop water from KRS.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Krishnaiah, IGP Amarkumar Pandey and SP Kaushalendra Kumar held talks with the leaders and warned them against any violence. The leaders were also helpless has the crowd was in no mood to heed to them or to veteran leader Made Gowda.
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