Uneasy calm prevailed on Tuesday in Bengaluru, where one person was killed in police firing on Monday night and curfew is in force in 16 sensitive localities after angry protests turned violent in southern Karnataka over releasing more Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.
“We have, however, relaxed curfew in many areas for Muslims to offer prayers on Eid at mosques and in open grounds,” a police official said.
Though schools, colleges, government and private offices and banks have holiday for Eid fest, several IT firms and back offices, which are working, advised their employees to work from homes in view of the simmering tension across the city.
Shops, markets, malls, hotels, eateries and commercial establishments are observing an undeclared shutdown across the city due to fear of being attacked by protesters.
Buses, taxis and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are also off the roads, while metro rail service has been suspended till late evening.
Hundreds of passengers alighting at railway stations in the city and at the airport on the outskirts had a tough time in reaching homes or workplaces in the absence of taxis, autos and buses.
A Rapid Action Force platoon staged a flag-march in the city’s north-west suburb to instil confidence in the people that the situation is under control.
One person – Umesh, 25, died when police fired to disperse a mob attempting to torch a patrolling vehicle after ransacking a provision shop in the city’s northern suburb,” said the police official.
Though police initially resorted to caning and lobbing tear gas shells to prevent the enraged mob of about 50 people from turning violent, 12 rounds were fired by a platoon of the Karnataka State Reserved Police to disperse it from the troubled spot.
According to preliminary inquiry, the victim, working at a petrol retail outlet, was unfortunately present at the spot where the mob gathered.
Umesh hailed from Kunigal in Tumakuru district, about 70km from Bengaluru.
“We have imposed curfew for three days from early Tuesday in the city’s north-west, south-west, north east and central areas to maintain peace and prevent untoward incidents during the festival week, Bangalore police commissioner N.S. Megharikh told the media here on late Monday.
Onam festival for Malayalis on Wednesday and immersion of idols of Hindu god Ganesha on the 10th day of the festival falls on Thursday.
“We have also issued a ban order under section 144 of the CrPC across the city to prevent assembling of more than five persons in public places and populated areas and maintain law and order,” asserted Megharikh.