Bengaluru: A coalition of Kannada organisations is adamant of the Karnataka bandh call on Saturday. This, even as Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday appealed to call off the bandh and threatened stringent action against anyone forcing businesses to close.

“There is no question of going back on the bandh call, when despite severe opposition from Kannada groups the State government has gone ahead and notified the Maratha Development Corporation. If the government doesn’t want a bandh, it should scrap the notification,” said Vatal Nagaraj, president, Kannada Okkoota. He claimed that thousands of organisations had supported the bandh call and it would be successful.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, which had shied away from supporting the bandh earlier, has now announced its support. T.A. Narayana Gowda has appealed to people to observe a voluntary bandh. KRV workers will protest at all taluk and DC’s offices, sources said.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, which had shied away from supporting the bandh earlier, has now announced its support. T.A. Narayana Gowda has appealed to people to observe a voluntary bandh. KRV workers will protest at all taluk and DC’s offices, sources said.

According to a report on Indianexpress.com, Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association was quoted saying that the cabs will be off the road on December 5 in support of the bandh. Manjunath from Adarsha Autorickshaw Union said autorickshaw services will be suspended on bandh day.

According to Vattal Nagraj, a massive rally will be taken out from the Town Hall to Freedom Park in Bengaluru city on December 5. Earlier, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had warned pro-Kannada organisations of strict action if they went ahead with the bandh.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant has directed the police force to heighten security and intensify patrolling. Mr. Pant held a meeting with senior police officers to discuss the security measures on Thursday. Senior officers of all the divisions have been directed to take up measures to ensure law and order in their jurisdictions. The police have been asked to monitor the movements of habitual offenders.

 As many as 15,000 policemen, along with 30 KSRP and 20 CAR platoons, have been deployed to handle the situation. No Kannada activists have taken permission from the police so far and if they force anyone to get involved or try to close shops or commercial establishments, they will face strict action, sources said.

The Karnataka government recently announced setting up a Maratha development board, with a fund of Rs 50 crore. The move to constitute a separate board for Marathi-speaking people has sparked protests among pro-Kannada groups, who have given a call for a Karnataka bandh on December 5, on account of opposition to neighbouring Maharashtra’s claims on border regions of Karnataka, which have large Marathi-speaking populations.