Cauvery protests: SC asks Karnataka, TN governments to prevent agitation, damage

New Delhi [India], Sept. 15 : A single bench of the Supreme Court, which was hearing a plea seeking a direction to the Centre and to the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain law and order in the wake of the massive protests over the Cauvery water distribution row, on Thursday expressed its dismay over people taking the law into their own hands, and insisted that the state authorities take immediate preventive action.

Justice Deepak Misra observed that "it is the duty of states to see that no agitation and no damage take place.

We expect the people from both states to maintain peace, harmony and above all dignity and respect for the law.

We sincerely hope wisdom shall prevail over authorities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu." The top court has also asked the counsels of both states to go through the petition and file their responses by September 20.

The court has listed the PIL for further hearing on September 20. Activist Shivkumar, who is a petitioner in the case, has sought the apex court's intervention. Yesterday, Shivkumar had appealed to a bench headed by Chief Justice T. S. Thakur to hear the matter related to the two states urgently, adding that on September 15, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu would be observing state-wide shutdowns.

He sought the apex court's direction to the Centre and both states to take strict action against those who are involved in violence and to provide security to private and public properties and citizens of both states.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had earlier urged the protesters not to damage public property, adding that the order of the Supreme Court is hard to follow, but "we will still follow it".

The apex court had on Monday modified its September 5 order, directing the Karnataka government to release 15000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

It directed the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government to release 12000 cusecs of water for farmers. However, the development did not sit well with pro-Kannada protesters who vandalised public property and set several vehicles on fire, protesting against the order.

Source: ANI