Mandya(PTI): Protests against release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu escalated today when thousands of farmers attempted to lay siege to Krishna Raja Sagar and Kabini dams, demanding immediate closure of crest gates to stop the flow.
Defying prohibitory orders and breaking police cordon, the protesters rushed towards both dams from which the state is releasing 9,000 cusecs since Sunday, in compliance with a Supreme Court directive.
At KRS dam in Mandya district, some protesters jumped into the Cauvery river, resulting in injuries to two of them.
The situation in and around KRS dam posed concern as thousands of farmers poured in. Some police personnel and protesters were injured in stone pelting and the resultant baton charge. Police struggled to control the swelling crowd.
Road traffic between Mysore-Bangalore remained disrupted for the fifth consecutive day due to road blockade by farmers.
District authorities today deployed Rapid Action Force (RAF) at KRS dam.
G Madegowda, chairman of Cauvery Hitarakshana Samithi, the body spearheading the stir, set a 6 PM deadline to the BJP government to stop water release.
“Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has betrayed farmers. We will continue the protest till this government is ousted,” he said.
Raitha Sangha (Farmers association) leader Kurubur Shantahamurthy said farmers would lay a siege to Raj Bhavan tomorrow in Bangalore, seeking intervention of Governor H R Bhardwaj to stop the water release.
Earlier in the day, Congress MP H Vishwanath and others staged a protest at Kabini reservoir at H D Kote and JDS MP, N Cheluvarayaswamy at KRS dam.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar urged farmers to maintain peace and said the state would file a review petition before the Supreme Court either today or tomorrow, praying for a review of Cauvery River Authority directive.
The Karnataka government began releasing water after the Supreme Court asked it to abide by the September 19 directive of the Cauvery River Authority, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh till October 15.