Belagavi (Karnataka): Tense situation prevails in Belagavi, the bordering district of Maharashtra, as the members of Maharashtra Ekikarana Samithi (MES), the party demanding merger of Belagavi district with Maharashtra state, has given a call for bandh on Tuesday.
The bandh call has been given to condemn the act of Kannada activists blackening the face of MES leader Deepak Dalavi on Monday. The incident happened when MES was organising ‘Mahamelav’ in Belagavi, parallel to the winter Assembly session held by the Karnataka government.
The police had denied permission to hold the bandh in Belagavi. Security has been tightened in the bordering city and in the vicinity of Suvarna Soudha.
The ‘Mahamelav’ was organised without permission of the district administration. On Monday, the MES party erected a podium in the Tilakwadi region in Belagavi on Monday. The police rushed to the spot and vacated the podium. There was an argument between the police and MES workers.
Meanwhile, the Kannada activists, who a;so reached the spot, blackened the face of Deepak Dalavi. The black paint also got sprinkled on former MLA Manohara Kini and others. A tense situation prevailed and police arrested the Kannada activists on the spot. The police have also booked cases on the Karnataka Nava Nirmana Pade, Youth President Sampath Kumar Desai and three others in the Tilakwadi police station.
The MES party workers took out a rally from the spot to the Tilakwadi police station. It has been decided to organise a protest along with NCP and Shiv Sena parties. The MES workers performed ‘Ksheerabhsheka’ (pouring of milk) on Deepak Dalavi later as a mark of respect.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has condemned the incident and stated that these incidents won’t be a setback for the movement aiming at merger of Marathi speaking regions with the state of Maharashtra.
Kannada activists had blackened the face of Vijay More, then Mayor of Belagavi City Corporation in Bengaluru in 2005 condemning the proposal taken in the corporation for merger of Belagavi with Maharashtra.