Confusion prevails as groups differ over bandh call in NK

People of the 13 districts of north Karnatka are left confused as the organisations that had given a call for a bandh on Thursday, demanding statehood for the region, have taken different stands after a meeting with the Chief Minister.

President of Uttar Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti Somashekhar Kotambri made the dramatic announcement of withdrawal of the bandh call late on Wednesday, a day before the scheduled bandh.

He said the decision to withdraw the bandh call was the result of the assurance given by the Chief Minister about addressing the issues raised by representatives of various organisations from north Karnataka during a meeting with him in Benglauru on Tuesday.

‘No change’

However, earlier in Hubballi, president of the Uttar Karnataka Raitha Sangha Basavaraj Karigar, who was accompanied by Shadakshari Swami of Rajashrama and others, insisted that there was no change in their call for a bandh on Thursday. He said 23 organisations had extended support for the bandh call and they would stop transport services on Thursday and appeal for closure of schools, colleges, and commercial establishments in support of the call.

Mr. Karigar said the sangha did not agree with the stand taken by Mr. Kotambri and others who met the Chief Minister. “We have distanced ourselves from them on this issue. There is no question of withdrawing the bandh call at this juncture,” he said.

Speaking to
The Hindu
over the phone from Haveri, Mr. Kotambri clarified that it was not end of the agitation but they had decided to wait in the wake of the Chief Minister’s assurance. “Our organisation and others who were with us have decided to wait and withdraw the bandh call.

However, Mr. Karigar of the raitha sangha has said they would go ahead with the bandh call and we don’t support them,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Kalaburagi, members of the Hyderabad Karnataka Kannadapara Sanghatanegala Okkoota, a conglomerate of Kannada organisations, took out a protest rally opposing the statehood demand.

With this, confusion prevails over the bandh call. The police have taken precautionary measures and tightened security in north Karnataka districts.

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