The violence erupted after India's Supreme Court ordered Karnataka state, where Bengaluru is based, to release 12,000 cubic feet of water per second every day from the Cauvery river to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The river has been the source of more than a century of tension between the states, and the anger has previously turned violent - in 1991 an interim court order telling Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu sparked riots against Tamils in Bengaluru, leaving more than 18 people dead.

"Rapid Action Force Teams have been deployed all over the city," Bengaluru city police said on Twitter on Monday. "We urge to all Bengalurians...Stay calm and not to be panic."

A witness saw a group of 20 to 30 protesters, some armed with sticks and stones, stopping and searching cars. They pulled several Tamil Nadu-registered trucks and motorcycles to the side of the road  and pelted them with stones. At least one truck driver was beaten with a stick. The protesters let Karnataka-registered vehicles through the makeshift roadblock.

Police said that more than 15,000 officers had been deployed to keep the peace including riot police and border security forces. They denied media reports that forces had imposed prohibitory orders on crowds gathering in public places. Bengaluru is home to top Indian IT companies such as Infosys Ltd, Wipro Ltd and Mphasis as well has offices of several multinational companies like Samsung Electronics.


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