A state-wide bandh disrupted life across different parts of Karnataka on Thursday as pro-Kannada outfits demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the inter-state Mahadayi River water row with Goa.
Showing solidarity with Mahadayi agitators, the Kannada movie sector has extended its support so that no movies will be shot in Karnataka that day, nor will there be any movie shows.
While the film industry and multiplexes chose to remain shut, shopping malls, hospitals and clinics functioned normally, with Indian Medical Association office bearers stating they will be extending moral support by wearing a black band.
Almost 15,000 policemen and 50 battalions of Karnataka State Police will be deployed on Thursday.
Though government offices and banks remained open, attendance was thin as employees were unable to commute from their homes in the absence of public and private transport. Since 2001, Karnataka has been asking Goa to release 7.6 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of the river water.
The Mahadayi river (Mandovi in Goa) rises in the Western Ghats in Karnataka's Belagavi district.
Although, the frequency of cabs and auto rickshaws were very low in Bengaluru during the day, normalcy returned with the reopening of buses and shops in the evening.
As the date for assembly elections in Karnataka draws closer, both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are using state-wide bandhs to settle political scores in the poll-bound state. So there will be no buses moving inside the city, and even those planning to go out of the state will have to wait till the bandh is over.
Karnataka's Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had on Wednesday urged pro-Kannada organisations and the other protesters to observe a peaceful Bandh on January 25.
A holiday has been declared to the schools and colleges on January 25th as precautionary measure.
In a tit-for-tat move to the bandh call during BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits to Karnataka, the party's state unit on Wednesday chose to observe district-specific shutdown during Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's state tour. "BJP leaders were embarrassed by the empty chairs during the previous rally attended by Shah in Bengaluru", mocked the CM, adding that he was not petty minded to obstruct the BJP's rally.
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