Cauvery dispute: Rogue elements planned bloodbath, replay of 1991 riots
Deccan Chronicle| Bala Chauhan
The 1991 Cauvery riots, which was the worst in the history of Karnataka, 28 people were killed and thousands fled the state.
In the infamous 1991 Cauvery riots, which are said to be the worst in the history of Karnataka, 28 people were killed in the city
Bengaluru: There was an alleged sinister plan by some vested interests to "replay" the infamous December 1991 Cauvery riots on Friday, especially in Bengaluru, during the Karnataka bandh on the Cauvery water issue, an official source in state police department told Deccan Chronicle.
"There were specific intelligence inputs on massive efforts from some sectors to replay the December 1991 bloodbath on Friday, which would have worked as a double edged sword for them; on bringing the national attention on Karnataka’s plight on the water sharing issue with Tamil Nadu in a rain deficit year and discrediting the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government for its failure to get justice to its people and maintaining law and order in the state.
''The Chief Minister was constantly briefed about the intelligence inputs and last minute decisions were made in Vidhana Soudha to seek Central police forces for deployment in the city. In one night, intervening September 8 and 9, the police had picked up 596 anti-social elements from across the city and put them under preventive custody. They were released on Friday late evening," the officer added.
"There were credible inputs that some anti-social elements would indulge in large scale violence leading to loss of lives and property. Besides the bandh the police also had to ensure a peaceful Ganesha procession on Tannery Road the same night. Any spillover from the bandh violence would have proved very dear to the State administration. A contingency plan was immediately drawn; for massive deployment and bundobast.
''The State police requisitioned Central police forces and the reserve police forces from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The CM and police top brass met some leaders of some pro-Kannada outfits on Thursday late evening and held close door discussions to ensure that while the Friday bandh would be ‘absolute to send a strong message of solidarity,’ it would be ‘without violence’," said another officer on condition of anonymity.
In the infamous 1991 Cauvery riots, which are said to be the worst in the history of Karnataka, 28 people were killed in the city and thousands were injured and displaced from across the state. Thousands of Tamil families fled Karnataka in fear. All educational institutions in the state were shut down for nearly a month. The loss to property was estimated to be around Rs 19 crore.