Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has written to Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, expressing concern over a general strike called in the neighbouring state on Friday over the Cauvery river water dispute.
“I am deeply concerned that certain organisations have called for a bandh in Tamil Nadu tomorrow," Siddaramaiah wrote in the letter, made public by the Karnataka government.
“You would appreciate that any escalation of animosity between the two states would be to the collective detriments of both the states," he added.
Siddaramaiah wrote in the letter that his government had issued an advisory to the media to report responsibly on the Cauvery agitation and requested Jayalalithaa to do so too. An advisory was issued on Monday asking electronic media and others to observe restraint in airing footage on any violence.
Vehicles with Tamil Nadu licence plates were attacked and burnt in violence that broke out in Bengaluru on Monday after the Supreme Court ordered the Karnataka government to release Cauvery waters to the neighbouring state over above the quantity specified in an earlier court ruling.
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“I had pointed out to you in my previous letter of 12-9-2016 that incidents of violence against Kannada speaking people in Tamil Nadu would incite passions threatening peace in our state. Unfortunately, violence erupted on 12th despite all precautions taken by us," Siddaramaiah wrote in his letter.
The violence followed news of damage to Kannadiga-owned businesses in Tamil Nadu and a video of a bus driver being beaten up that went viral on social media, fueling the tension over the river water dispute.
Siddaramaiah’s 12 September letter had mentioned that the assault on a Tamilian who was accused of posting derogatory material against Kannada actors supporting Karnataka’s stand on the Cauvery issue had been aired repeatedly by media channels in Tamil Nadu. This may incite passions and violence against Kannada-speaking people, he wrote.
Also read: Cauvery violence: Bengaluru Police commissioner blames misinformation
Later that day, Jayalalithaa replied with a letter in which she raised concerns on the safety and security of Tamil speaking people in Karnataka.
“Despite very provocative incidents that are taking place in Karnataka, absolute restraint has been observed in Tamil Nadu by all sections," she wrote.
The Supreme Court will hear the Cauvery water dispute case again on 20 September.