Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said the Maharashtra-Karnataka territorial row is as significant as the India-Pakistan boundary dispute, re-kindling the decades old boundary dispute between the two states.
In an editorial in the party`s mouthpiece Saamana, Uddhav said the atrocities on Marathi people in the state by Karnataka Police were "as horrifying as the terror spread by Hafez Saeed", referring to the international terror mastermind of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, based in Pakistan.
"Everyday, the Marathi people in Belgaum are trampled by Karnataka Police. This is terrorism of the kind perpetrated by Hafez Saeed. If Karnataka Police continue terror tactics like Hafez Saeed and Ajmal Kasab, then it is the Centre`s duty to rein them in," Uddhav said.
His comments came in reference to the latest flare-up in Belgaum and surrounding areas dominated by Marathi people, where a five-decade old hoarding ("Maharashtra Rajya-Yellur") in Marathi was uprooted.
The platform, where the hoarding was erected, was destroyed by police in Yellur village, resulting in violence and its fallout in Maharashtra last week.
Uddhav pointed out that Kannada people living in Mumbai, their hotel businesses and other establishments have never faced any threat.
"There are the Karnataka Bhavan and Karnataka Sangh standing impressively in Mumbai, but the anti-Maharashtra stand of the Karnataka government ontinues...Brutal police have brought down a Marathi hoarding and a platform in Yellur. Marathis, including women, were beaten up by police," he said.
The editorial mentioned the prevailing tension in Yellur after the Marathi hoarding which proclaimed it (the village) as being part of Maharashtra was uprooted twice Saturday and Sunday, leading to violence that left over 50 people injured.
The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti has called for a shutdown in Belgaum district Monday.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has already raised the issue with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, urging him to ensure that the people in the border district do not live in a fear psychosis.
Karnataka Police have clamped prohibitory orders in Belgaum, Nipani town and Khanapur areas till July 29 as a precautionary measure.