Bengaluru, Sept. 19: Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj and several fellow protesters were detained on Monday afternoon at Attibele, on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, as protests threatened to get out of hand despite several platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and paramilitary forces being deployed there.
The protests are taking place even as the Cauvery Supervisory Committee is meeting in New Delhi to decide the quantum of water Karnataka has to release to Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka had on Monday morning reportedly stopped the release of water after having let out 168,000 cusecs of water as directed by the Supreme Court.
The so-called Kannada Federation, which has brought together several pro-Kannada organisations, was marching towards the border with Tamil Nadu in Attibele when Nagaraj was detained. Federation member M. Nagaraj told OneIndia that the activists were raising pro-Karnataka and anti-Jayalalithaa slogans as they marched, but said they would not cross the border into Tamil Nadu.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC are already in force in Attibele and in many parts of Bengaluru. Additional forces have been deployed to secure sensitive areas.
As many as four platoons of KSRP, 16 personnel from the Border Security Force, Rapid Action Force and local police personnel are present in Attibele.
Government-run buses from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are operating only upto the respective borders. A few private vehicles, however, have crossed the border in either direction, police sources said.
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee meeting, currently underway in Delhi, is being attended by chief secretaries from the four riparian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
While the committee will decide on the quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka is expected to press for a fact-finding committee to study the situation in the two states before making such a decision.