Karnataka bandh: Schools, colleges and workplaces remain shut

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Several offices and commercial buildings such as malls, markets etc were shut as several Karnataka organisations called a state-wide bandh on Thursday.

"We have deployed about 15,000 police personnel across the city, especially in vital areas where sensitive installations are present for safety and security of the people", asserted Kumar.

Although the shutdown did not affect train and flight operations in Bengaluru, hundreds of passengers were stranded at railway stations and the airport in the absence of state-owned and private buses and taxis.

Reportedly, differences have arisen amongst the Kannada groups who called for a bandh.

The project is being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

Some of the farmers were sceptical about the motives of the Kannada activists in calling Thursday's state-wide bandh on the issue.

The 77-km Mahadayi or Mandovi river originates at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in Belagavi district and flows into neighbouring Goa, eventually joining the Arabian Sea.

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Another protest has been called for 4 February.

In a tit-for-tat move to the bandh call during BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits to Karnataka, the party's state unit on Wednesday chose to observe district-specific shutdown during Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's state tour.

Incidentally, the dawn-to-dusk bandh was held on the day BJP president Amit Shah addressed the Parivartana Yatre.

"We have decided that when Rahul Gandhi comes to Karnataka, we will call for a complete bandh in those districts he will be visiting", BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa said.

The January 25 programme would go ahead as planned, he said in Mysuru and added that his party was in favour of protecting the state's interests on the Mahadayi issue.

They demand the PM's intervention in the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project by bringing a compromise between Goa and Maharashtra, so that the state of Karnataka can get its share of the waters. They are also of the opinion that such bandhs cause inconvenience to the common man, with none of the political parties willing to resolve the Mahadayi water sharing crisis. However, these attempts to involve Modi have also not been successful. KCVP is headed by former MLA Vatal Nagaraj.

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