Riots feared over verdict in inter-state water sharing dispute in India

Monday, February 5, 2007

A tribunal setup by the Indian government has pronounced its verdict on a century-old dispute between the two south Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu regarding the sharing of water from the Cauvery River.

The federal government's Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was created 17 years ago to resolve the dispute. The tribunal's ruling today allotted approximately 60% of the water flowing through the Cauvery river to the downstream state of Tamil Nadu.

Police in Karnataka's capital city of Bangalore have taken preventative measures against possible riots over the verdict. Over 700 people were taken into preventive custody on Monday morning prior to the tribunal's announcement. Additionally, over 16,000 policemen have been deployed, particularly in areas with large Tamil populations.

Many offices, schools and retail stores in Bangalore have shut down early today, in anticipation of trouble.


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