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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of the reports of large -scale violent protests, arson and destruction of public and private property worth crores of rupees in Bengaluru by protestors against the directions of the Supreme Court of India, directing Karnataka to release water from river Kaveri  to Tamil Nadu.

Expressing its anguish over the incidents, the Commission, in a hard hitting statement on Friday, observed that it appears from the national television channels that civil and police authorities in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu remained mere onlookers and took no advance steps to stop the hooligans indulging in such illegal acts playing with life and liberty of the people, according to an NHRC release.

It has also observed that the authorities should have anticipated and prepared themselves to meet the emergency situations in view of the sensitivity of water sharing issue faced by people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.  Police and civil authorities woke up to the situation only after largescale physical violence and destruction of public and private property.  After the event, imposing curfew further added to the denial of Right of access to hospitals and other emergencies facilities for three days, saidthe NHRC release.

Taking serious exception to the violation of human rights due to the apathetic attitude of the people holding public office and their lack of accountability towards people’s life and safety, the Commission has issued notices to the Governments of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu through their Chief Secretaries and the Director Generals of Police, calling for reports on the number of persons injured and destruction of public and private property during these protests.  They have been given four weeks to respond.

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