A massive protest march was organised by various Vokkaliga groups on Wednesday to oppose the arrest of MLA and former minister D.K. Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case.
Thousands of protesters, including politicians, seers and Kannada organisation members, from Bengaluru and neighbouring districts are expected to take part in the march which began at the National College Grounds and end at Raj Bhavan, where a memorandum will be submitted to Governor Vajubhai Vala.
The demonstration is being organised “to oppose the central government’s use of central investigating agencies against the leaders of opposition parties across the country and especially in the case of D.K. Shivakumar”.
The city police had made elaborate security arrangements with 90 platoons of State Reserve and Armed Reserve Police along with 10,000 police personnel to maintain law and order during the rally. The protesters marched for 5.2 km and left the National College Grounds at 11 am. Protesters from 12 districts had participated in the march.
City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said that around 5,000 policemen will be deployed during the march. “In addition, 50 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police, 40 platoons of City Armed Reserve and 550 home guards will be deployed during the protest.
The bundobast would be monitored by 11 Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCPs), 42 Assistant Commissioners of Police, 106 police inspectors, 373 sub-inspectors and 2,280 police constables. Over 500 temporary CCTV cameras will be fixed across the stretch and police in plainclothes will shoot the entire episode in hand-held cameras,” he said.
He said that the protest organisers have been advised to stick to law and maintain peace. Mr Rao warned protesters of strict action if found violating the rules. The police have warned the protestors against use of provocative messages and speeches, loud music and forcefully shutting of shops or any kind of violence, use of crackers and burning effigies.
Protest march route
The rally went through, National college – PMK Road – Vani Vilas Road – National College Junction – Sajjan Rao Circle – Minerva Circle – JC Road – Shivajinagar Junction – Town Hall – N.R. Junction – Police Station Junction – KG Road – Mysore Bank Cricle – Palace Road – Palace Junction – Ramachandra Road – Kanakadasa Circle – Kalidasa Road – Freedom park.
The city traffic police had traffic diversions to ensure a smooth flow of traffic. Traffic is diverted on Palace Road: Vehicles coming from KG Road were made to take right at Elite Junction, join Tank Bund Road.
Vehicles coming from Chalukya Circle were made to take left at Maharani Bridge and continue from KR Circle.
Vehicles on Sheshadri Road were made to take the upper ramp at Anand Rao Circle, left at JD(S) cross and continue on Race Course Road.
Vehicles from Majestic to K.R. Market N.R. Junction – Devanga junction – Subbaiah Circle – Poornima Junction – Lalbhag main entrance – Lalbhag west entrance and continued from Town Hall.
Vehicles coming from Richmond Circle, were made to take left at Hutson Circle and join Devanga junction.
From Richmond circle to Majestic: Hudson Circle – Police Corner – Cubbon Park – Fish Canteen – KR Circle – Old Post Office Road.
Vehicles coming from Queen’s Road – CTO circle – Police Thimmiah circle – Ambedkar Road – KR Road.
Vehicles from Majestic to KR Puram: Sheshadri road – Race Course Road – Chalukya Circle – Old High Grounds police station junction – Raj Bavan junction – Coffee Board and continue through Infantry Road.