Cauvery dispute: IT, e-comm firms shut offices after violence

The violence over the issue of sharing Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu forced IT firms such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro to shut their Bengaluru offices on Tuesday.

Offices of e-commerce firms Flipkart and Amazon were also closed as a precautionary measure. The big three IT firms have over 70,000 people working at their campuses in the country’s IT capital.

A Reuters report said global outsourcing firm Accenture closed offices in the city and told staff to stay home. 

Many employees were asked to work from home as the companies invoked business continuity plans to ensure there is no disruption to mission critical projects.

In an e-mailed statement, Wipro said: Wipro has declared a holiday for employees in Karnataka on Tuesday, September 13. In lieu of this holiday, Saturday, September 17, will be a working day for offices of Wipro in the state.

It added that business continuity plans had been invoked to avoid disruption to mission critical projects.

An Amazon India spokesperson said delivery of products has been temporarily impacted owing to the current situation. We will resume all deliveries at the earliest. We have advised our employees to work from home today and continue to monitor developments, she added.

Flipkart Head (Supply Chain Operations) Neeraj Aggarwal said the company has stalled operations to ensure safety of its delivery staff.

“We are trying to mitigate all customer impact by keeping them informed about expected delays,” he added.

Meanwhile, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Coimbatore has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and hold talks with both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for an amicable settlement.

The violence including burning and damaging of more than 50 buses and many other vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu registration and also torching of properties belonging to Tamilians is deplorable, chamber president Vanitha Mohan said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should intervene and hold talks with both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for an amicable settlement on the issue, she said.

A large number of youths from Tamil Nadu are employed in several IT companies in Bengaluru, she said and sought the intervention of the Karnataka Chief Minister in ensuring their safety and protection from untoward incidents. She also urged the Karnataka government to initiate stringent action to maintain law and order in the state as mob attacks, violence and damage to properties will not in any way resolve the issue.

One person was killed and another injured in police firing in Karnataka on Monday as the Cauvery water sharing row with Tamil Nadu turned violent, escalating tension between the two states.

Bengaluru city police, bolstered by central forces, is keeping a tight vigil, particularly in areas inhabited by Tamils and other sensitive localities. Violence targeting Tamil Nadu buses and lorries and other vehicles put the city on edge yesterday and curfew was imposed in 16 police station limits last night. The entire city is under prohibitory orders till September 14.

(With PTI inputs)

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