Karnataka shuts down over Yeddyurappa’s prosecution


Bangalore : Many educational institutions in Karnataka did not open, state-run buses went off roads, and a few vehicles were stoned Saturday as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a daylong shutdown to protest Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s move to allow Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s prosecution over corruption charges.

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“We have withdrawn bus services at most of the places across the state after many were stoned,” a spokesperson of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), which runs buses across the state, told IANS here.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) said its services in the city were not affected though there were instances of stone throwing late Friday soon after Bhardwaj granted permission to prosecute Yeddyurappa over corruption charges.

“We will withdraw the services if our buses are attacked,” a spokesperson said.

In Bangalore, police clamped prohibitory orders that bar assembly of five or more persons at a place for two days.

“We have deployed around 18,000 police personnel on duty in the city to maintain peace,” a Bangalore city police spokesperson said.

BJP activists in Yeddyurappa’s home district of Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore, blocked trains for about half an hour.

Most of the schools and colleges across the state declared a holiday fearing violence. The shutdown, however, would not affect most of the IT firms as Saturday is holiday for them.

BJP workers in north Karnataka towns of Hubli, Bidar, Gulbarga, Haveri and Mysore, Tumkur, and other districts in south began protests late Friday itself after Bhardwaj’s sanction to file criminal cases against Yeddyurappa.

The permission to launch criminal proceedings against BJP’s first chief minister in south India was sought by two Bangalore-based advocates, Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj, on Dec 28 following the revelation that Yeddyurappa had favoured his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore.