Karnataka-Maha border issue: Belagavi turns into fortress after NCP, Shiv Sena leaders stage protest
Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute: Belagavi, the center of Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute was turned into a fortress as security was stepped up in and around the district on Monday. Members of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti and NCP staged protest at Kognoli Toll Plaza near Karnataka-Maharashtra border over the inter-state border issue.
“Section 144 is in place and the secuirty personnal were on alert, in view of Maharashtra-Karnataka border issue,” say police.
Amid fear over the border row with Maharashtra and disruption due to protests by various communities, the entire city resembles a cantonment of sorts. Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, where the session is in progress appears like a barrack with policemen deployed all over the place.
According to police sources, nearly 5,000 policemen have been deployed for maintaining law and order in the city. The sources also said there will be a sizeable number of policemen deployed at the Vaccine Depot ground where the Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti is staging a demonstration demanding merger of Belagavi with Maharashtra. Some leaders from Maharashtra had wished to participate in the event. A Maharashtra MP Dhairyasheel Mane had even requested the Belagavi district administration to make arrangements for his visit to the city.
However, the district authorities imposed a ban on his entry saying that his possible inflammatory speech may create law and order problems. Apart from the MES, various groups including farmers, are also staging demonstrations in Belagavi to press for their demands.
District authorities prohibit entry of Shiv Sena MP to Belagavi
The district administration prohibited the entry of Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Dhairyasheel Mane to the Belagavi city to take part in an event organised by Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MMES) on Monday.
The MMES has organised a protest at the Vaccine Depot Ground in Tilakwadi in the district headquarter town of Belagavi as the 10-day winter session of Karnataka Legislature starts here.
Dhairyasheel Mane, a Lok Sabha member from Hatkanangle constituency, had written to the district authorities to make arrangements for his visit. In his letter to the police commissioner of Belagavi city, Mane said he should be provided a pilot car and escort along with Y+ category security. But, the Deputy Commissioner of Belagavi district Nitesh K Patil issued a prohibitory order banning Mane's entry.
Patil said the MP would take part in the event organised by the MMES where it is likely that he may deliver inflammatory speeches, which would lead to linguistic conflict and create a law and order problem. This would eventually lead to damage to public properties.
Meanwhile, a MMES leader Suraj Kanbarkar told PTI that the police have given permission to hold the event at Vaccine Depot.
“However, we are not sure which leader from Maharashtra is likely to attend the event here though we have given invitation to all the important people,” he said.
Amid the border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra, the MMES organised the event to protest the winter session of Karnataka legislature in Belagavi. Maharashtra has been demanding the merger of Belagavi with it saying that the district has a substantial Marathi population. The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti which had been fighting for this cause for over five decades had been able to send its members to the Karnataka Assembly to raise their demand. However, in the current Karnataka Assembly, the Samiti does not have any representative.
Karnataka has always maintained that the border dispute was settled by the Mahajan Committee and there was no question of letting go any piece of land to any other State.
The political parties of Maharashtra, according to the sources in the ruling BJP, always supported the Samiti to carry on with activities.
(With agency input)
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