A month-long feud between pro-Kannada and pro-Maharashtra organisations continues to escalate, with the former calling for Bandh on December 31.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai requested the pro-Kannada unions not go ahead with the bandh demanding as a part of a protest against the Marathi outfit, Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES), and demanding its complete ban.
The minister said that the state government has already taken action against forces standing against Karnataka, as per their wishes. Bommai said he would follow a legal process for the demand on banning MES.
Clash Between Two Pro-Organisations
According to The Hindu report, the disputes have been reported from Karnataka's Belagavi district and Maharashtra's Kolhapur.
The incident took place a few weeks ago, during the 'Maha Melava' rally organised by the Marathi group. Coincidently, the day also marked the first day of the legislative session of Karnataka in Belagavi.
On the eve, a few Kannada activists blackened the face of the MES office-bearer during the 'Maha Melava' rally the latter had organised. In a rage, other Marathi unions burnt the Kannada flag in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and some reports claim that the group blackened the flag before burning it. A week before that, some Shiv Sena members had allegedly burnt one more Kannada flag in the state.
Their action drew massive criticism from the Kannada organisations and the state government.
This didn't stop here; some Kannada activists poured ink on a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Bengaluru. In return, the MES activists desecrated a statue of Sangolli Rayanna, an Indian warrior and a Karnataka icon, at Belagavi.
Former Karnataka CM, among other leaders, condemned the act.
Censure Motion Passed
Following this, the Karnataka legislative assembly on December 16 passed a censure motion against the burning of the flag in Kolhapur and forwarded it to the Maharashtra government to act against the attackers.
Decades Of Fued
Both states have been on sharp edges since the 1950s regarding the border town of Belgaum. The district is a part of Karnataka since the boundaries were demarcated under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
Maharashtra had been demanding the merger of the district, and nearby border areas, claiming that a substantial number of Marath-speaking people reside there, and the MES and Shiv Sena have prime unions demanding it, the report stated.