Cauvery row: TN files contempt plea in SC against K'taka

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New Delhi, Oct 10: Tamil Nadu today filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Karnataka for violating the court's directive to release Cauvery water till Oct 15.

Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Law Minister S Suresh Kumar, the state's Chief Secretary SV Ranganath, Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd Executive Engineer Vijay Kumar besides Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai and his secretary should all be held guilty for contempt of court, Tamil Nadu pleaded.

Karnataka had triggered a constitutional crisis by defying the Supreme Court's directive that was issued on Sept 28, Tamil Nadu stressed.

The apex court had asked Karnataka to comply with the order of Cauvery River Authority (CRA) that stipulated daily release of 9000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Accordingly, Karnataka started letting out the river water from the Krishna Raja Sagar dam on Sept 29. However, the state's counsel Fali S Nariman informed the Supreme Court on Oct 8 that Karnataka is not in a position to release any more water to Tamil Nadu. The water release was stopped that day itself.

While pro-Kannada outfits as well as farmers in Mandya and Mysore hailed the development, the reaction in Tamil Nadu was exactly the opposite. DMK supremo M Karunanidhi went to the extent of demanding President's Rule in Karnataka.

The Centre must invoke Article 356 because the situation is so grave, he stressed. "This is not a case of vendetta, but it should be a lesson for other states in the future. Tamil Nadu's fields shouldn't turn graveyards," Karunanidhi said.

Pattali Makkal Katchi chief S Ramadoss urged the UPA government to deploy the Army near Karnataka's reservoirs. He also appealed to the Centre to take over all the dams which are built across the Cauvery river in Karnataka.

To highlight their strong opposition to the abrupt stoppage of water release, CPI activists even tried to block trains in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district but police detained them in the midst of the 'rail roko'.

Incidentally, Jagadish Shettar claimed today that the CRA's Sept 19 order "has no basis at all." He told reporters in Bangalore that "the decision was taken without any proper discussion" and described it as "an injustice to Karnataka."

Asserting that the state was right to stop the water release, Law Minister Suresh Kumar said, "We are very confident that Karnataka has done no wrong, we have taken no such step that can attract contempt proceedings. Because we have obeyed the order of the Supreme Court order and that of the CRA and released water."

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