Bengaluru, July 28: Farmers' associations and pro-Kannada organisations have brought much of North Karnataka, especially Hubli-Dharwad and Gadag districts, to a halt as incidents of arson and violence have been reported since Thursday morning, following a bandh call over the Mahadayi river water dispute verdict on Wednesday that went in favour of Goa and Maharashtra.
The Deputy Commissioners of both the districts declared holiday to schools and colleges, while shops and transport did not operate. Other parts of North Karnataka functioned as usual but protestors held symbolic demonstration to mark dissent over the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal verdict.
Incidents of stone pelting and setting fire to tires were reported from many parts of Gadag district, mainly in the epicentre of farmers' movement, Nargund. However, apart from minor incidents of stone pelting, the situation is under control informed Deputy Commissioner N Prasanna Kumar to OneIndia.
"I have declared holiday to schools and colleges on Wednesday itself keeping in view the gravity of the situation in the district,'' said Prasanna.
In Gadag, some miscreants tried to ransack a major vegetable market in Gadag city in the morning. But the police thwarted the effort and detained five members. The situation in the district is still tense and vigilance is kept on every protest occurring across the district, he added.
Hubli-Dharwad too announced holiday to schools and colleges. In Navalgund, another sensitive town, a few incidents of stone pelting have been reported. In major circles of the district, agitators held peaceful demonstration. Here too tension prevailed and the police are hoping it would ease after 4.00pm. The shops and transport did not function.
DCP (law and order) Jinendra Khanagavi said some pro-Kannada activists attempted to enter primises of MP Prahlad Joshi's office but the cops succeeded in stopping them. As many as 3000 people gathered at Kittur Rani Chennamma Cirlcle, Hubli and burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prahlad Joshi, he told.
Belagavi also witnessed partial Bandh like situation, with incidents of stone pelting occurred in the region.
Other parts of North Karnataka, like Kalburgi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot and Bidar did not see bandh and schools and colleges functioned as normal. Shops have started business. There were some symbolic protests and no incidents of violence have been reported so far.