Now, Shiv Sena threat to shut down business in border towns | Hubballi News – Times of India

BELAGAVI: The ongoing Karnataka-Maharashtra border unrest, which had led to suspension of bus services for three days over safety fears, threatens to take an ugly turn with political parties and regional outfits sounding open threats of violence and shutdown of business.
While Shiv Sena leaders have threatened to shut shops owned by Kannada-speaking people on March 20 at Miraj, Sangli and other border towns and villages in Maharashtra, one leader, Shubham Shelake, urged cadres to thrash pro-Kannada activists sporting “red-yellow shawls” on the streets. Following a complaint from Pro-Kannada activists, an FIR has been filed against Shelake at Khadebazar police station. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) has said it will do “everything” to protect the “sovereignty of the state”.
Bus services resumed on Tuesday after much dillydallying on both sides but concerns remain as protesters have targeted vehicles repeatedly, throwing stones, smashing windshields and smearing ink on signboards.
The Centre told Lok Sabha on Tuesday that there is no proposal under consideration to declare areas dominated by Marathi-speaking people in Karnataka, bordering Maharashtra, as a Union territory.
Declare dist UT: Sena mouthpiece
Union minister of state for home Nityanand Rai said demands and representations have been received from various individuals and organisations but no such proposal has come up.
An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamna on Tuesday demanded the district be declared a Union territory. It alleged “pro-Kannada organisations recently thrashed Marathi people there and targeted pro-Marathi social media handles.” The incident it referred to was quite different, though. Three youths were arrested on Monday for making incendiary remarks on the border dispute on social media. A case was registered at Udyambag police station.
Karnataka Rakshana Vedike district president Deepak Gudaganahatti said parties in the neighbouring state have been resorting to provocation for two months. “KRV will do everything to protect the sovereignty of Karnataka,” he said.
On March 8, the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti took out a rally and made a failed bid to hoist a saffron flag at Belagavi City Corporation. The activists are demanding the removal of a Kannada flag placed at the office in December last year, and have now threatened to shut down business establishments owned by Kannadaspeaking people in various Maharashtra border towns over this demand.
President of district Kannada Organisations’ Action Committee Ashok Chandaragi met Belagavi DC MG Hiremath on Monday and urged him to close the local Sena office. Chandaragi said state MPS are likely to raise the issue in Parliament soon. Koppal MP Karadi Sanganna, he said, had contacted him for information on the border dispute since the 1950s.
MES leader Ashtekar Maloji said KRV and Shiv Sena are locking horns for political gains and MES does not endorse either. “These people come from outside the district to stir up controversy. MES has been carrying out struggle for inclusion of Belagavi into Maharashtra for decades and will continue. But MES will not support any illegal acts committed by Sena and KRV. This current dispute has to be settled,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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