As protest over Cauvery water dispute shapes into disturbing violence in parts of two states – Tamil Nadu and Karnataka – the latter’s Chief Minister Siddaramaiah voiced concerns over incidents of violence against Kannada speaking people in Tamil Nadu.
In a letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart, Siddaramaiah asked J Jayalalithaa to ensure their safety and protection while assuring her that interests of Tamils in the state would be safeguarded.
“While we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure maintenance of law and order in our State, I would urge you to direct authorities in Tamil Nadu to ensure that perpetrators of violence are immediately brought to book,” Siddaramaiah said in his letter, released to the media.
“Further, you may also like to advice your authorities to ensure adequate safety and protection for Kannada speaking people in the State of Tamil Nadu,” he added further in his letter.
Protests errupted last week on this emotive water sharing dispute across both the states after the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to share river waters with Tamil Nadu.
On Monday, the Supreme Court modified its September 5 order reducing the amount of water to be released by Karnataka to 12,000 cusecs from 15,000 cusecs as asked originally. The government of Karnataka had on Sunday moved Supreme Court demanding a direction to restrict the quantum of water to be released from River Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs.
But the ground situation has not altered much. While the protestors in Bengaluru targeted Tamil Nadu-bound buses, in Chennai some suspected pro-Tamil protesters attacked and damaged a hotel run by a native of Karnataka, using iron rods and wooden logs.
Seven tourist vehicles bearing Karnataka registration parked at a temple in Rameswaram were damaged allegedly by activists of various outfits including Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam.
Referring to a incident wherein a 22-year-old Tamil engineering student was allegedly beaten by a group of people here for posting “derogatory” remarks on social media against Kannada film actors, Siddaramaiah said the case is under investigation.
“It has also come to my notice that an incident involving a youth by name Santosh in Bengaluru, has been blown out of proportion by media channels in Tamil Nadu and this is likely inciting passions and violence against Kannada speaking people,” he said.
The Bengaluru City Police has already filed a case in the Santosh incident and investigation is under progress, the Karnataka Chief Minister added.
In his letter, he also assured Jayalalitha that his government is firmly committed to maintaining law and order in the State.
“We have taken utmost precaution to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, particularly Tamil speaking people, in the State,” he said.