Two day after violents protests over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row, which saw trucks bearing Maharashtra numbers stopped and smeared with black ink, and at least one of these pelted with stones, in Karnataka’s Belagavi, Chief Minister BS Bommai said all necessary steps are being taken to protect the lives and properties of Kannadigas living in neighbouring Maharashtra.
“We have already spoken with Director General of Police and Chief Secretary of the state of Maharashtra. The necessary security arrangements are being made here as well. I have already spoken to my Maharashtra counterpart and resolved to protect cordiality on both sides,” BS Bommai told reporters, appealing to the people to maintain peace and tranquillity on the Maharashtra side.
Vehicles from either side were targeted in Tuesday’s escalation, with leaders from both states weighing in, and pro Kannada and Marathi activists being detained by police amid a tense atmosphere in the border district.
“There must be no provocation from any side,” he said.
Mr Bommai clarified that no one, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has spoken to him regarding events in connection with the border dispute.
“I have spoken with our party national president JP Nadda and have made the stand of Karnataka clear on the border row,” he added.
Belagavi is at the centre of the territorial dispute, as Maharashtra has been claiming that this Marathi-majority area was wrongly given to Kannada-majority Karnataka in the language-based reorganisation of states in the 1960s.
Karnataka recently renewed its claim over some villages in Maharashtra, igniting a fresh round of acrimony even as both states have the same party, the BJP, in power.
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