Several pro-Kannada groups have called for a Karnataka bandh on Thursday demanding implementation of Sarojini Mahishi report, recommending a certain percentage of jobs to Kannadigas in private and public sector companies. A pro-Kannada activist Praveen Shetty has been kept under house arrest to maintain law and order.
CM Yediyurappa met pro-Kannada activists and they submitted a memorandum to him. Earlier, Yediyurappa had urged the pro-Kannada organisations to call off the bandh.
Bengaluru: CM meets pro-Kannada activists; they submitted a memorandum to him. Several pro-Kannada groups have called for K'taka bandh today demanding implementation of Sarojini Mahishi report, recommending certain percentage of jobs to Kannadigas in pvt & public sector companies pic.twitter.com/9KpflFs3PT— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2020
Normal life, however, remained unaffected in Bengaluru, other cities, and towns as state-run buses and trains are operating normally and markets have opened. Meanwhile, online taxi services being operated by app-based cab aggregators have been suspended across Karnataka state till Thursday evening. The All India Trade Union Congress and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions have extended their "moral support" to the bandh call.
"We have told our drivers to stop services till evening. More than 70,000 vehicles usually run, but we are stopping the service today. We are supporting the bandh," said Tanveer, President of Ola, Uber Drivers' and Owners' Association, Bengaluru. In view of the bandh, Bangalore University has postponed all post-graduate examinations scheduled on Thursday. In Mangaluru, an incident of miscreants pelting stones on a Tirupati-Mangaluru bus in Farangipet was reported.
"We have deployed additional forces in public places and vital installations in the Bengaluru to prevent any untoward incident. Protest demonstration has been allowed only at Freedom Park in the city. No permission is given to take out rallies or processions to ensure smooth movement of vehicular traffic," a police official said.
State Minister for Kannada and Culture C.T. Ravi told reporters that the state government was committed to implementing the report on job priority to Kannadigas. "We have already implemented the report in the government sector. In the private sector, we are trying to implement it step by step. A cabinet decision has been taken to implement it in the private sector too," Ravi asserted.
The committee, headed by former Union minister Sarojini Mahishi, was constituted in 1984 to recommend job opportunities for Kannadigas in Karnataka. It submitted the report two years later. The protest call has been given by the 'Karnataka Sanghatanegala Okkoota', comprising a few factions of 'Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV)'.
(With agency inputs)