Karnatka-Mahrashtra border dispute triggers vandalism

Islamabad, January 02 (KMS): The border town of Belagavi has been a bone of contention between two Indian states—Karnataka and Maharashtra since boundaries were demarcated on linguistic lines under States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

A report released by Kashmir Media Service said, today, said tensions prevailed in Belagavi and Bengaluru, Karnataka after alleged activists of Maharashtra Ekikarana Samiti vandalized a statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and Shivaji Maharaj and uploaded video on social media.

It said, members of ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra staged a protest against BJP-led government in Karnataka and hit an effigy of its Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the alleged desecration of a statue of Shivaji Maharaj in Bengaluru.

The report said, Shiv Sena, legislator Sada Sarvankar, claimed the BJP seeks votes in the name of Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra and insults the warrior king in Karnataka. Shiv Sainiks beat up an effigy of CM Karnataka and shouted slogans condemning the alleged incident in the neighbouring state, it added.

Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde had alleged that CM Bommai termed the incident of desecration as “minor”. Sec 144 is imposed in Belagavi amid increase tensions in the state, the report maintained.

It said, on December 13 — the first day of Karnataka’s legislative session — the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) organised a protest against the session being held at Belagavi.

It said, Pro-Kannada protesters subsequently threw black ink on MES leader Deepak Dalvi, following which MES supporters burnt a Karnataka flag in Kolhapur Tuesday. The MES also issued a bandh call in Belagavi.

The act of burning Karnataka’s flag led to the state legislative assembly passing a censure motion Thursday, with Opposition parties demanding action against MES, it added.

The report said, in retaliation to the burning of the Karnataka flag, unidentified persons poured ink on a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Bengaluru Friday. Suspected MES supporters then allegedly damaged a statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna and indulged in stone-pelting on Karnataka government vehicles in Belagavi.

Condemning the incidents as “unruly”, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said he has directed the Home Minister to take strict action against those trying to disturb peace and order following which some arrests have been made in connection with the incident, it maintained.