After five days of turmoil over the Cauvery row, Mandya has now slipped into a pensive mood, characterised by subdued activity on the Cauvery front.
Compared with the past five days, less farmers poured into the town. Earlier, almost every day more than one lakh farmers from Malavalli, Pandavapura, HD Kote, Maddur and Chamarajanagar were flocking towards Mandya.
“We are waiting for the report of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee (CMC), which visited KRS and other reservoirs. We are also awaiting the verdict of the Supreme Court on the appeal made by the Karnataka government over the release of water. This lull in the intermediate period should not be mistaken as farmers’ movement going weak,” said G Madae Gowda, president of the Cauvery Hitarakshana Samithi.
The stretch between Srirangapatnam to Maddur on State Highway 218, between Mysore and Bangalore, was still out of bound for vehicles as hundreds of farmers’ families blocked the road, going so far as to setting up their kitchen there.
Following the movement picking up pace in Bangalore, Mysore city has also upped the ante. There, various organisations, farmer groups and citizens groups converged at Gandhi Square and took out a rally. About 1,500 members of more than 100 self-help groups participated in the rally. They carried empty vessels on their head to symbolise water scarcity.
In a bizarre incident, a farmer from Narasimhaswamy Thittu village, Nagaraje Gowda, appeared in central Hunsur town with his body fully smeared with blood. He had cut himself at several places with a blade to show his solidarity with the farmers. Gowda owns a tea stall in the town. Though people tried to stop him, he kept on slashing his body, raising slogans against the government for releasing water to Tamil Nadu. A few people overpowered him, gave him first-aid and shifted him to Hunsur government hospital for treatment.
People of Kundapur protested against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, which is the first protest to be recorded in the entire coastal area. They squatted on the National Highway 66 and blocked the traffic for more than 30 minutes.