Karnataka is witnessing the fourth bandh in the state on Friday in the recent 45 days. Likely to be the most disruptive one, the state government has extended its support to all areas specially, Bengaluru.
Around 25,000 police personnel are deployed in Bengaluru to ensure that situation remains peaceful. But sources said four bandhs and Ganesha festival immersion duty have left the force exhausted.
The bandh was called on by numerous pro-Kannada organizations and farmer unions after the Supreme Court directive asking the state to supply 16,000 cusec of water to neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. Even though chief minister Siddaramaiah has assured that the state will in no manner promote or tolerate violence, the city police sources (as reported by TOI) admitted the force is weary given the consecutive protests and festival duty deployment.
Most stakeholders involved in keeping Bengaluru up and running too have announced their support to the 6am-to-6pm bandh called by Kannada organizations. The public can still heave a breath of relief as essential service like ambulances, pharmacy shops, milk and hospitals are most likely to remain unaffected.
But all modes of public transport, BMTC and KSRTC buses, autorickshaws, tourist abs and airport cabs will remain off road. Namma Metro, too, has called off its services. Though app-based taxi hailing firms said that they will run as usual, their associated cabbies are unlikely to take the bookings and they may stay off roads. SouthWestern Railways said none of its trains has been cancelled. Any such call will be taken if there is any forced disruption of the services.
“The state government has resolved not to oppose the bandh. Schools and colleges will be closed and almost all government offices are likely to shut down as attendance is expected to be thin,” Siddaramaiah told reporters on Thursday. The opposition parties, both BJP and JD(S) are supporting the bandh call.
BBMP employees have resolved to keep off work. Most private companies, including IT biggies like Infosys and Wipro, have announced they will remain shut. Bank services are also expected to take a hit. Petrol bunks, malls and hotels will remain shut.