Bengaluru: In the middle of the arson and vandalism seen in Karnataka's Bengaluru on Monday over the Cauvery water dispute with Tamil Nadu, one man refused to go with the mob.
- Shivanna went to Mysuru Road where buses were being set on fire.
- He drove the drivers to the border with Tamil Nadu.
- More than 40 buses were burnt in the depot.
Shivanna, who has been in the lorry business since 1968, went right to the spot where Tamil Nadu-registered buses were being set on fire on Mysuru Road. There were flames and smoke everywhere at a depot where more than 40 buses were burnt.
Some of the drivers were hiding in a storage room. They didn't know how to escape, until Shivanna helped them.
"I was in Ramanagaram. When I returned to Bengaluru and learnt about the protests I checked if my lorries were damaged. Two were. I learnt that the KPN buses had been set on fire so I took my car and went there. 42 buses were burnt. I looked for the drivers. 15 of them had been taken to a police station and the others, all frightened, were hiding in a godown," Mr Shivanna told NDTV.
He found the drivers, put them in the container compartment of his lorry and drove them to the border with Tamil Nadu. He said: "I took 31 drivers, put them into the bus home and then returned to Bangalore,"
That day, those who were not protesting stayed away from the roads. What made Shivanna go the extra distance to help the men?
"My service is mostly in Tamil Nadu. I felt in my mind that I have been eating their food so I wanted to help. I also employ 30 drivers from Tamil Nadu. The men I took to the border called me when they reached home and blessed me," he smiled.
"When we are born as human beings we need to do things like this. Whatever state they are from, once they come to Karnataka we must consider them ours and help them."
Two persons were killed in protests, several buses were burnt and shops and other buildings were vandalized after the Supreme Court announced an order that meant Karnataka would have to give more water from the river Cauvery to neighbor Tamil Nadu that it had been asked to a week ago.