Meanwhile at Belagavi, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene held protests to mark the completion of a year of Mahadayi agitation.They said the farmers’ stand stood vindicated with the tribunal asking the Chief Ministers of the riparian States to solve the dispute amicably through dialogue. The tribunal could have made the same observation when the farmers put forward the demand a year ago, said KRRS State vice-president Basavaraj Mallali.
Mr. Hebsur, who is among 149 farmers lodged in Ballari Central Prison, following protests against the Mahadayi verdict, has sent a press release through Darur Purushotam Gouda, president, Ballari district unit of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), and Hasiru Sene and circulated at a press conference here on Monday. Farmers have lost faith in the Tribunal after its interim verdict. It needs to be abolished. The Prime Minister had the authority to abolish the Tribunal and should convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the riparian States and resolve the issue amicably, the release said.
The indefinite protest launched by members of the Kalasa-Banduri Jana Mahandolana entered the sixth day on Wednesday. The members, who are staging sit-in protest in front of the HDMC office here, are demanding fulfillment of the long-pending demand to link Mahadayi with Malaprabha rivers to ease drinking water problem in four districts of North Karnataka.
A federation of the organisations and associations spearheading the struggle under the Kalasa-Banduri Nala Horata Samiti will be formed soon.It will launch a “mass movement” for justice from the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, besides from the Union and State governments.A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of leaders of various organisations from nine taluks in Belagavi, Bagalkot, Dharwad and Gadag districts here on Sunday.The meeting was presided over by Vijay Kulkarni, founder president of the Kalasa-Banduri Nala Horata Samiti, formed two decades ago.
Protests erupted across Karnataka against the rejection of the state’s interim plea by the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, on Thursday.Several north Karnataka cities, including Hubballi, Dharwad, Gadag and Belagavi witnessed violent protests by farmers and pro-Kannada organisations. Normal life has been affected in these districts and movement of vehicles has almost come to a standstill.
Even as commuters sighed in relief after transport corporation workers called off their strike, farmers groups have called for a bandh over the Mahadayi row on Thursday.Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrashekar has called for a state-wide bandh on Thursday. “We condemn this verdict which is anti-Karnataka. I appeal to the farmers and to everyone to support the bandh (Thursday) to protest against this verdict.”
“It is shocking, highly disappointing and unjust to the people of North Karnataka.”This was the common reaction of leaders of various Kannada and farmers’ organisations on the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s rejection of the State’s interim plea seeking release of 7 tmcft of water from Mahadayi river through the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of four districts of North Karnataka – Bagalkot, Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag.
In response to the call for bandh given by various farmers’ organisations to pressure the Centre in general and Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal to deliver early and judicious award on sharing of Mahadayi river water and clearance for implementation of the long-pending Kalasa-Banduri Nala diversion project, a group of farmers staged a protest at Fort Circle near the central bus station in the city.