Cauvery row: Violence in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

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Protests by fringe Tamil outfits erupted in parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today with some commercial and government establishments of Karnataka coming under attack, in an apparent fallout of the ongoing agitation in the neighbouring state against release of Cauvery water.

The protests came a day after a video purportedly showing a 22-year-old Tamil youth being beaten up by a group of men in Bengaluru for alleged “derogatory” remarks on social media against Kannada film actors went viral.

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Outfits such as Naam Tamizhar Katchi and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi hit the streets protesting the ongoing agitations in Karnataka opposing release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, police said.

A popular restaurant in Chennai and tourist vehicles bearing Karnataka registration in Rameswaram were vandalised while protesters created a ruckus at a Karnataka Bank branch in neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, police said.

Four persons have been detained in connection with the restaurant attack while around 25 taken into custody in Puducherry, they said.

Police protection was provided to the Karnataka Bank branches in Tamil Nadu.

In an early morning incident in Chennai, protesters owing allegiance to Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TPDK) allegedly vandalised a popular restaurant owned by a native of Karnataka.

They smashed the window panes using iron rods and wooden logs and four persons belonging to the outfit had been detained in connection with the incident, a police official said.

At Rameswaram, seven tourist vehicles bearing Karnataka registration that were parked at a temple were damaged when agitated members of various outfits including Naam Tamizhar Katchi allegedly indulged in vandalism.

The group entered the parking lot of the temple near Agni Theertham sea in the town and damaged the vehicles with clubs and stones, police said.

Cases have been registered against seven persons in connection with the episode, they said.

Protests were held outside the branches of Karnataka Bank in Erode even as protestors barged into the bank’s branch at Puducherry and created a ruckus.

Around 25 workers of Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi entered the branch on Misson Street in the Union Territory wielding broomsticks, banged them on the tables and asked the bank staff to vacate the premises.

The staff ran helter skelter while the panic-stricken customers rushed out.

Policemen, who were deployed in the vicinity, rushed there and took the protesters into custody.

The bank was closed for a few hours after the incident and later reopened. However, it was again shut following advice from police.

At Vellore in Tamil Nadu, students of Government Law College boycotted classes over the issue.

For the eight consecutive day, buses to Mysuru, Chamrajnagar and other places in Karnataka from Erode, Tirupur and Coimbatore in western Tamil Nadu were not operated.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of violence in Karnataka as protesters burns vehicles and blocked traffic. According to ANI, pro-Kannada activists set vehicle on fire during protest in Bengaluru’s Nayandahalli area. Vehicular movement was affected on Mysuru Road.

Amid escalating tension in Karnataka over the Cauvery water dispute, the Centre today assured all assistance to the state to maintain law and order and ensure peace.

“I am in touch with the Chief Secretary of Karnataka and whatever help is required will be provided,” Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters here.

Violence erupted in parts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru, Mysore and Mandya, after the Supreme Court ordered the state to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water every day to Tamil Nadu till September 20, modifying its previous order that directed it to release 15,000 cusecs till September 16.

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