Bangalore, July 31 :
Normal life was affected Thursday across the city owing to partial response to shutdown called by pro-Kannada groups to protest rising crimes against women and incidents of rapes of minors.
Private schools and colleges declared a holiday for the safety of their wards, and shopping malls and movie theatres were closed in support of the 12-hour shut down that began 6 a.m.
Arterial roads across the city witnessed light vehicular traffic even during peak hours.
However, state-run BMTC maintained its bus service, while state-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operated intra-state and inter-state services but with lesser number of buses.
A section of taxi and auto unions also decided not to operate till evening.
Though train services and flight operations remained unaffected, the number of passengers was less than 50 percent at railway stations and at the airport.
“The shutdown is being held peacefully so far as no untoward incident came to our notice, barring incidents such as forcible attempts to shut shops and private establishments,” Additional Police Commissioner Alok Kumar told IANS.
Though government offices, IT firms and large private organizations functioned, albeit with fewer staffers attending, eateries, shops, departmental stores, garment factories and small and medium enterprises decided to remain shut till 6 p.m.
About 50-pro Kannada organisations will take out a protest rally from Town Hall to the state secretariat in the city centre and submit a memorandum to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to check crimes against women and take stringent action against their perpetrators.
In view of public outrage and protests by parents, students, social activists and women’s organisations, over the alleged rape of a six-year-old student in an elite school July 3 and of a seven-year-old student July 25, police have tightened security and stepped up vigil across the city.