Thursday’s bandh called by Kannada organisations and some others against the recent sexual assaults on women and children evoked mixed response, but affected life in the city. The bandh was peaceful, barring stoning of two BMTC buses, one at Chandapura and another on Tannery Road.
Though traffic was thin, the protest rallies, which were also against the Yellur issue, affected vehicular movement on some roads, such as international airport Road, J.C. Road, Palace Road and Seshadri Road. BMTC and Namma Metro services were not disrupted. Some autorickshaws were seen plying the roads.
Many thoroughfares wore a deserted look. While some traders voluntarily downed shutters, those who did not were forced to do so. The bandh was near-total in the central business district, with cinemas, hotels and malls closed. A group of motorcyclists from a Kannada organisation took out a rally, urging people to support the bandh. However, essential services such as milk, vegetables and hospital services remained unaffected.
Kannada Okkoota leader Vatal Nagaraj, who led the protest, told presspersons at Town Hall where the protesters converged that rapists created an environment of fear and they must be severely punished and booked under the Goonda Act. “We should put a stop to such heinous crimes in the city,” he said. Security was tight across the city. Fifty platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police, two Central Reserve Police Force platoons, 20 companies of the City Armed Reserve, along with 17,000 city police personnel were deployed. The police had rounded up some people ahead of the bandh to prevent any untoward incidents.