Source The Hindu
The Irrigation Department, North Zone, Belgaum, has stopped releasing water for irrigation from the Hidkal dam from Saturday in protest against the alleged failure of the State Government to take action against BJP MLA Abhay Kumar Patil, who allegedly led an attack on Chief Engineer S.S. Khanagavi on Thursday.
The protest by the employees of the department entered the third day on Saturday.
The Karnataka Engineering Services Association (KESA), which is leading the protest, declared to continue the agitation till the BJP leadership obtained the resignation of Mr. Patil from the legislative Assembly.
KESA president Shivanand Hugar told The Hindu that the staff of the department had to take the “painful” decision of stopping water release though they were not interested in victimising farmers.
“We are helpless as the Government seems to be ignoring the humiliation and insult to a senior officer by BJP workers led by Mr. Patil. The matter is serious and calls for appropriate action against the guilty,” he said.
He said the “dramatic” arrest and release of Mr. Patil served no purpose. The agitation would not be withdrawn till Mr. Patil tendered his resignation and the Government took appropriate action against the police officials who remained mute when Mr. Khanagavi was being beaten up, he added.
He said the employees of the department sympathised with the farmers. It was inevitable for the employees to take such a decision as the Government had turned a blind eye to the incident.
Meanwhile, the employees paid no heed to the appeals by BJP MPs Prabhakar B. Kore and Suresh C. Angadi to withdraw their agitation. They tendered an “apology” on behalf of the Government. The former Congress MP Amarsinh Patil also appealed to them to withdraw their agitation.