Karnataka: Belgaum goes berserk over 'Maratha pride' ahead of Maha elections

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Belgaum, July 28: The border town of Belgaum in Karnataka has taken up swords to emphasise their Marathi lineage, just ahead of the Maharashtra elections. The villagers have pulled up a decade old dispute over their village's location.

On Sunday, the police was forced to throw tear gas and disperse the villagers in Yellur who were repeatedly putting up a board that said that the region belongs to Maharashtra. They were lathicharged and beaten by the police in defence when the former attacked them with sticks and stones. The board was finally removed on Friday on a High Court Order.

However, on Saturday the villagers installed the board yet again, defying the court order and drove off the media, apart from blocking roads. When the police removed the board again, the villagers retaliated. Since then 6 people have been arrested and large gatherings have been banned.

Seizing this opportunity is the Shiv Sena, which says,"Our government is at the Centre. We demand that the Belgaum region is placed under central rule." They further accused the Karnataka police of removing the board that stated 'Belgaum's Marathi pride'.

In its mouthpiece editorial, Shiv Sena said,"Karnataka government's anti-Maharashtra age old stand continues. In 24 hours, not just once but twice the Kannadas have tried to target Maharashtrians symbols. They have indulged in violence. Women were beaten up. Houses were destroyed. But no "Mai-ka-laal" raised their voice against this. Karnataka government is against Marathis and Maharashtrians. The plaque was Belgaum's Marathi pride"

However, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Belgaum is peaceful. Responding to the Sena allegations, he further added,"There is no atrocity either on Marathas or anybody else. We are giving protection to all people of Karnataka."

Since Saturday, prohibitory order under section 144 of the IPC has been promulgated in Belgaum, Khanapur Taluka and Nippani town till July 29.

OneIndia News

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