Bengaluru: Pro-Kannada outfits are observing Karnataka bandh today, despite Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's strict warning against forceful closure of business activities in the state. Meanwhile, the outfits claim that a majority of Kannada groups are in favour of the bandh and will see successful enforcement of it.

“I appeal to everyone: don’t trouble people with a bandh. I have given importance to Kannada and I am ready to do whatever is required to make Kannada prominent,” he said.

Pro-Kannada groups led by Kannada Okkuta chief Vatal Nagaraj have called for a bandh against the state government's decision to form Maratha Development Corporation in Karnataka.

Karnataka government's decision to earmark Rs 50 crore for the formation of a Maratha Development Corporation in the state has angered pro-Kannada groups.

Kannada activists have always had a tussle with Marathas in the bordering district of Belagavi and have accused the Karnataka CM of indulging in appeasement politics. They are demanding the state government to withdraw the order to set up the Maratha corporation.

Till 8 am there was a mixed reaction for a bandh in the city, the business in KR Market is as usual. Namma Metro services have been stopped, security staff have closed the doors of the metro station entrance and exit in Majestic.

Few unknown protesters pelted stones at a BMTC bus early Saturday morning in Chandapura located in the outskirts of Bengaluru.

As a security measure, the police have tightened security from 4 am across the city including near the chief minister's office and residence, Krishna, around Town Hall, Corporation circle and Freedom Park. The West Division police have detained more than 100 persons with criminal background from Friday night to maintain law and order.

What is open?

·         Medical stores, hospital and other medical services, BMTC, KSRTC buses, Metro service, milk supply, essential services, ATMs.

·         Hotels, vegetable/fruit shops, meat stalls and provision stores are open across the city. Bengaluru Restaurant Owners’ Association President PC Rao had said that they do not support the shutting of establishments and that the establishments will remain open on Saturday.

·         Metro services will operate as usual in Bengaluru. The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will also operate as usual. Petrol pumps will also remain open as it is an essential commodity.

What is closed?

·         Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers’ Association, said that cabs will not operate in Bengaluru on Saturday as the drivers are supporting the bandh owing to the government’s inaction on the demands they had raised for relief during the pandemic.

·         Karnataka Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Association said that auto rickshaws will not operate on Saturday as the drivers too are demanding a separate welfare board.