Karnataka-Maharashtra border row: Both states withdraw bus services until further notice

Stone pelting and ink-smearing campaigns on both sides have been going on over the past two days

Shankar RajUpdated: Sunday, March 14, 2021, 10:23 PM IST
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MSRTC |

Bengaluru: The Karnataka-Maharashtra border remained tense on Sunday with both the states withdrawing bus services until further notice after the language row -- Marathi-versus-Kannada -- erupted yet again.

Stone pelting and ink-smearing campaigns on both sides have been going on over the past two days.

The flash point came when Kannada activists stoned Maharashtra State Transport buses in Kolhapur. Maharashtra immediately withdrew its services and Karnataka followed suit.

Trouble was brewing for some time when alleged Shiv Sena members painted Kannada signboards black at the famous Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur, which draws thousands of devotees from across the border.

The Sena activists, quoting Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s claims on Belagavi, reportedly abused shop-keepers from Karnataka. Videos of the incident went viral prompting pro-Kannada outfits in Belagavi to hit back. They blackened Marathi signboards in an act of retaliation and stoned Maharashtra state transport buses in Kolhapur late Friday night.

Pro-Kannada outfits and the rival Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Ekikarna Samiti staged protests in the border town of Belagavi and submitted memoranda to local police.

Condemning the vandalism in Kolhapur, Karnataka Border Area Development Authority chairman C Somashekar urged the Yediyurappa government to intervene and take up the matter with Maharashtra.

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