From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Madikeri (SP)
Madikeri, Mar 20: Shops and establishments in Kushalnagar town in the district downed their shutters and observed total bandh on Sunday March 19 in support of the call for bandh given by the action committee which has been demanding for carving out Kaveri taluk with Kushalnagar as its headquarters.
Workers of the committee were found to be moving around the main streets of the town and seeking wholehearted support for the bandh from the people in the morning over microphones. The car street, which usually witnesses heavy traffic, wore a deserted look. Although government and private buses moved around normally, they had very few passengers. There was tense atmosphere in the town, and the people showed unity in supporting the bandh call without getting divided on political lines.
During the celebration of Tipu Sultan birth anniversary last year, Kushalnagar had witnessed communal clashes. On Sunday, people from all classes, castes, and religions showed unity in supporting the bandh call. Speaking on the occasion, convener of the committee, V P Shashidhar, noted that Kushalnagar is equipped with all facilities like schools, colleges, banks, hospitals, police stations, office of the deputy superintendent of police (DySP), sub-treasury, office of sub-registrar, engineering college, court, life insurance corporation office etc.
"We have certain facilities that are absent even in certain taluk headquarters. Still, our 30-year-old demand for creation of Kaveri taluk has been neglected. Our people's representatives, district in-charge minister, and others should bring pressure on the government on this point. President of the town panchayat here and all the members have tendered joint resignation to Somwarpet tahsildar in support of their demand for creation of Kaveri taluk, and participated in the protest. We are confident that this fight will bring result," he said.
He predicted that with the creation of a new taluk, it will benefit people living in about 134 square km of land spread over 20 gram panchayats. He asked the government to create separate taluk on the basis of geographical considerations, duly reminding it that this fight will continue till a separate taluk is formed. He stressed that creation of taluk will also help in tourism development in the region.
President of Kodagu district BJP unit, B B Bharatish, said that Kushlnagar boasts of all facilities which a district headquarters needs. He noted that neighbouring Kudige village houses industrial zone, Sainik school, sports school, milk dairy etc. He said that creation of taluk will give further impetus to the growth of the region. He also reminded that new extensions are getting added to the town, labourers are getting work and settling down here, and many are coming here seeking good climate. He said his party will steadfastly supports the cause of creating this taluk till this demand is met.
Leader of Hindu organizations, G L Nagaraj, felt that Kaveri taluk should have taken birth long back. He attributed lack of political will as reason for the failure to create this taluk. He requested everyone to come together to fight for the creation of this new taluk apolitically for the overall development of Kushalnagar region.
The activists created a human chain at the main circle at Kushlanagar and squatted on the road for over an hour raising slogans in favour of creation of Kaverti taluk at 11 am. The activists arranged for the vehicles to move on alternative routes without creating traffic problems. As auto rickshaws moved around normally, people did not face too much problems. Town panchayat president, M M Charan, members, D K Thimmappa, Pramod Muthappa, Nanjundaswamy, Shivashankar and Fazlulla, Kushalnagar Urban Development Authority chairman, Manjunath, zilla panchayat member, K P Chandakala, town BJP president, K G Manu, president of Chamber of Commerce, Amirtaj, K B Raju of DSS, district president of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, P K Jagadish, and leaders of several other organizations participated.
Over 150 police personnel from various police stations in the district were posted to look after law and order situation. Two circle inspectors and three police sub-inspectors supervised the situation, said DySP, Sapath Kumar.
Tourists who normally come here on week ends faced problem of getting food and other facilities on account of unexpected bandh. Vehicles bound for Madikeri and Mysuru had to move on alternate roads, which created some problems for them.