Bangalore witnesses panic buying of goods ahead of bandh

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Bangalore, Oct 5: Bangalore witnessed panic buying of essential commodities by its residents, a day ahead of bandh on Saturday, Oct 6. Around 526 pro-Kannada organisations have called a state bandh on Saturday, Oct 6. The bandh has been called to protest against the Supreme Court order to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu. [UPDATE: Bandh paralyses Bangalore, ignites Cauvery water protest]

Although protest rallies affected traffic movements in the city, panic-stricken people of Bangalore thronged grocery shops, petrol bunks and other shops selling essential goods to fill up their stocks at homes.

For Friday Procession Bangalore Photos see here

The city is likely to come to a standstill on bandh. Right from milkmen to petrol bunk owners to bus drivers, almost everyone has supported the bandh on Saturday. All business shops and establishments will keep their shutters down. Government offices will also see minimal attendance. All private schools and colleges will remain closed.

Tomorrow both BMTC and KSRTC bus services will remain off the road. Petrol bunks will remain closed from 6 am to 6 pm. No gas cylinders will be delivered the whole day. Milk supply will be affected from 8 am onwards. Chemist shops owners are also joining the protest, hence most of the shops will remain closed tomorrow.

Cable TV association will not broadcast entertainment channels from 6 am to 6 am. Only news channels will be available for the viewers. No theatre hall will screen movie shows on Saturday. Even there will be no shooting of films and TV soaps.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) has expressed support for the state-wide bandh over the Cauvery water dispute on Oct 6. President KV Chandrashekar told reporters on Thursday that no films would be screened or produced between 6 am and 6 pm on the day. Advocate associations have also joined the bandh and courts will remain closed.

Several popular Kannada film stars like Ambareesh, Shivraj Kumar and Prem have expressed their solidarity with the cause of farmers of Karnataka and supported the bandh. Seers and other social leaders of Karnataka have supported the bandh. Almost all the political parties have joined the protest.

Former Chief Minister and estranged BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa on Friday launched a frontal attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for issuing to Karnataka an order as Chairman of Cauvery River Authority to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily "without assessment of ground reality" on water storage levels in this state.

Vatal Nagaraj, leader of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha (KCVP) is also supporting the bandh. A regional political party in Karnataka, KCVP has a staunch pro-Kannada position, for example in the Kaveri river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu or against any bifurcation of the state.

Karnataka has been releasing water from Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini dams to ensure flow of 9,000 cusecs [Cusec is a measure of flow rate and is informal shorthand for cubic feet per second (1 cusecs = 28.317 litres per second)] of water to the neighbouring state since Sunday.

As per the Supreme Court order, Karnataka has to release water from Cauvery to its neighbouring state daily till Oct 15.

The Supreme Court order has not been taken lightly by the people of the state. Vehicular movements and train services between Bangalore and Mysore have been disrupted due to protests in Karnataka over Cauvery issue.

The BJP government in Karnataka has come under severe criticism for agreeing to release water.

The state government on Thursday moved the apex court seeking a stay on the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) order to release 9,000 cusecs of water to TN daily. Two central teams reached Karnataka and TN to assess water levels.

The CRA is chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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