September 13, 2016

India - Cauvery row: Fear and panic spread across Bengaluru

The Times of India

Cauvery row: Fear and panic spread across Bengaluru
Arun Dev | TNN | Sep 13, 2016, 07.02 AM IST
SUDDEN SHUTDOWN: Within a few hours, there was utter chaos on the streets of Bengaluru as people rushed to the safety of their homes. Cops had a tough time controlling the protesters and ensuring there was no widespread damage to life and property.SUDDEN SHUTDOWN: Within a few hours, there was utter chaos on the streets of Bengaluru as people rushed to the... Read More
BENGALURU: By Monday afternoon, a thick cloud of smoke could be seen on Mysuru Road from Vidhana Soudha. As one approached the City Market, the plumes could be seen at several locations. With all bus services towards Mysuru Road stopped, hundreds were seen walking on Mysuru flyover to get home.

Spreading urban unrest - with arson attacks on Tamil Nadu registered vehicles - engulfed Bengaluru-Mysuru road, where more than 60 vehicles, mostly trucks and buses, were set on fire. One of the worst-affected areas on Mysuru Road was Timber Yard Layout, where on a stretch a little over 1km long, at least eight trucks went up in flames. The trucks belonged to a transport company, whose owner requested his name be withheld.

Over 20 trucks had been parked inside the godown on Monday morning. A group of men barged into the compound. "They went around looking at registration numbers and asked us for the keys of Tamil Nadu registered vehicles. When we resisted, they said they would set the godown on fire. After we backed out and gave them the keys, they drove some trucks and pushed some out, and set them on fire," said the manager.

Many Tamil drivers, unaware of the violence, were trapped in the city, once the violence began. Without a place to hide their large vehicles, they were sitting ducks for the mobs.

In a desperate attempt to escape, a truck driver scratched the TN registration from his truck and wrote 'KA' with black paint. But his luck ran out when the mob stopped and asked him to speak near the Satellite Bus Stand. He was made to drive and park across Mysuru Road and pulled out of the vehicle.Protesters rammed a wooden log into the driver's compartment and set the truck's cargo on fire.

At one place on Mysuru Road, police intervention averted a possible clash between two groups after some miscreants pelted stones in an area which has many Tamil-speaking people. In the clash, one person suffered minor injuries, which resulted in both sides pelting stones. However, a police personnel arrived quickly and dispersed the crowd.

Over 100 phone calls were received by the fire control room. Alerted by public of a plastic godwon on fire near Hegganahalli main road, North Bengaluru, one fire tender was pressed into service around 7.30pm . Miscreants set the fire tender vehicle on fire after chasing away police. Miscreants damaged an empty BMTC bus near Goraguntepalya.

source URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Cauvery-row-Fear-and-panic-spread-across-Bengaluru/articleshow/54302612.cms