Bandh against Shivakumar’s arrest hits life in Ramanagara

Enforcement Directorate
Shivakumar, who was arrested on September 3 in a money laundering case, was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on Friday (PTI File)

Normal life was hit in parts of Ramanagara district in Karnataka on Thursday (September 5) following a bandh called to protest the arrest of senior Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case on Tuesday (September 3).

Sporadic protests were reported in places, including Channapattanna and Ramanagara since morning, while schools and colleges remained shut in the district, under which Shivakumar’s Assembly segment Kanakapura is located, police said.

Shops and business establishments by and large were closed in response to the bandh called by the local unit of the Congress and supported by its alliance partner in the previous coalition government – the JD(S).

Shivakumar’s supporters staged demonstrations and attempted to block roads at some places, but were dispersed by police as the protests continued for the third day. With no buses plying in Kanakapura, office goers were seen stranded while in other parts of the district some vehicular movement was seen during the early hours.

Police said they have made elaborate security arrangements across the district to avoid any untoward incident.

A Delhi court on Wednesday evening had remanded the former minister, who was arrested by the ED in New Delhi on Tuesday, to the agency’s custody till September 13. The Congress, which has dubbed the ED action as political vendetta, had staged protests in several parts of Karnataka on Tuesday night and on Wednesday against the arrest of Shivakumar, a key troubleshooter of the party, in connection with alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions wroth crores.

Several top state leaders, including former chief ministers Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy (JDS), have condemned the arrest of Shivakumar. Quoting reports he received, state home minister Basavaraj Bommai had on Wednesday said five to six buses were pelted with stones and attempts made to torch one bus each in Kanakapura and Bengaluru.

Most parts of Ramanagara district come under Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency represented by Shivakumar’s brother DK Suresh.