The Shiv Sena on Monday termed the “assault” on Marathi-speaking populace in Karnataka by the police as “Kannada terrorism” and asked the Narendra Modi government to intervene.
“In Mumbai, the Karnataka Bhawan and Karnataka Sangh buildings stand tall. However, a ‘Maharashtra state’ board in Karnataka is not tolerated and prompts such brutal assault, which even puts Hafiz Saeed to shame,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.
“All political parties blasted the Maharashtra Sadan force-feeding issue. Will they show the same zeal in condemning this injustice on Marathi speaking people of Karnataka,” the editorial asked.
The action comes after the Belgaum district administration demolished a board at Yallur village near Belgaum, which proclaimed the village to be in Maharashtra on Friday. The action triggered protests in Kolhapur, where Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses were stoned. This was followed with assault on Marathi-speaking people.
The editorial added, “In Modi, we have a strong prime minister and in Rajnath Singh, we have got a strong home minister. The Marathi speaking populace in the border area has great expectation from them. If Karnataka police is indulging in terror against Marathi-speaking people, it is the responsibility of the Central government to curb this terrorism. We are making this appeal to the Central government because those ruling Maharashtra are incompetent.”
The Sena reaction followed Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s telephonic talk with his Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah on Sunday. Chavan said he had conveyed the strong sentiments of people of Maharashtra on the brutal assault of Marathi speaking people there.
Meanwhile, Nitesh Rane, son of Narayan Rane said, “We won’t allow Karnataka Day celebration in Mumbai to protest the assault.” Mumbai’s famous dabbawallas have also condemned the assault on their Marathi brethren in Karnataka’s border areas.
Image: Police detaining a pro-Maharashtra activists at Yellur village of Belgaum district for pelting stone on police when a sign board claiming Yellur as a part of Maharashtra was removed. Photograph: PTI