Sunday, August 09, 2009

Call for bandh fizzes out

Call for bandh fizzes out

Police tighten security across city to ensure that the unveiling of the Thiruvallur statue goes off smoothly

Team DNA. BANGALORE



With the state government taking a firm stand and many pro-Kannada activists getting arrested and more going underground, the protest against the unveiling of the Thiruvalluvar statue in Ulsoor, and the bandh call by the activists seem to be heading towards a no-show on Sunday. Over 500 activists have been arrested or taken into custody since Saturday evening.
The city police in their crack down arrested people distributing pamphlets, seeking public support for the bandh call. In Srirampuram, a shopkeeper, Surya Prakash and three others were taken into custody after they were found in possession of the hand-out. "We will arrest all those who look like potential trouble makers," a police officer said.
Leaders who were arrested include Karnataka Rakshana Vedike leader, TA Narayana Gowda and the office bearers of the outfit, Prabhakar Reddy and Anjanappa, who are in judicial custody at present. Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader, Vatal Nagraj was also arrested on Saturday.
Police have made extra security arrangements to ensure that the Tamil Nadu government buses plying to and from the state are not disrupted by the installation ceremony. "Adequate number of policemen will be posted in all Tamil Nadu government buses going out and entering the state. We will make sure the event runs peacefully," a police officer said.
"We will be deploying as many as 1000 homeguards and policemen at the venue, on Gangadhara Chetty road, RBANMS school premises and the surrounding areas, in order to prevent pro-Kannada activists or any trouble maker from entering the premises," additional commissioner of police for law and order, MR Pujar told DNA. He added that in addition to the entire police force within the city, 30 platoons each, from the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and the City Armed Reserve (CAR) will be deployed.
Police officers also claimed that many of the pro-Kannada activists have fled from the city, fearing their arrest. "Many leaders have taken flight from the city because of the order passed by the High Court, asking police to take strict action against disruptive elements in the city, in the wake of unveiling the Thiruvalluvar statue," a police officer said. The area around Ulsoor Lake looked appeared like it was under siege, with several policemen positioned everywhere. The police said that a restriction on the movement of traffic on all important roads leading to the venue will be imposed from 6am to 6pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, in a separate statement protesting against the arrest of its leader, has scaled down its action plan. Instead of calling for a bandh, the members said that they will gatecrash the venue of the statue installation ceremony and stage a black flag demonstration.
Reacting to this threat, a police officer said, "They cannot disrupt the proceedings in anyway. It is impossible. We have taken adequate precautions in and around the premises of the statue installation and the RBANMS grounds."

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