Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena has once again jumped into the vexed Belgaum boundary dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka with party mouthpiece `Saamna` slamming police action on pro-Maharashtra supporters over a controversial signboard.
The border dispute between the two states is an old standing one with Maharashtra claiming rights over the Marathi speaking areas of Belgaum. The situation had turned tense again on Sunday when the local administration on Saturday pulled down a 50-year-old concrete signboard reading `Maharashtra Rajya` from Yellur village in the district.
Upset with the move, pro-Maharashtra supporters re-erected the signboard, after which the police resorted to lathicharge as they protested against the removal of a Marathi signboard.
Taking a serious note of the removal of the signboard, the Saamna editorial accused the Karnataka government of deliberately targeting Maharashtrians` symbols.
The editorial, while highlighting the lathicharge by the police, alleged that the Karnataka government is against Marathis and Maharashtrians. “The plaque was Belgaum`s Marathi pride," it added.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut appealed to the Centre to remove Karnataka Police from the troubled area and demanded deployment of central forces.
"The way these gundas (goons) of Belgaum in khakee vardi (police uniform) from the Karnataka government are troubling people by entering their houses and brutally beating women, kids and old people, this is not how police works, this is how the goons work," said Raut.
"Our first and foremost demand from the central government is that they should intervene and control the situation in Belgaum and the entire Marathi speaking area which we call the border area. Secondly, they should also remove the Karantaka police from the area and deploy central police, BSF, etc. Otherwise the situation will worsen and the fire will spread from Karnataka to Maharashtra," he added.
He also warned that although currently the Shiv Sena is working with patience but if the situation in Belgaum continues to worsen then it might lose patience.