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Maharashtra-Karnataka Boundary Dispute: Security Tightened in Belagavi District


Police have tightened security across Belagavi district, the epicentre of decades-old border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra, as the case pertaining to it is coming up before the Supreme Court. Police officials said they have installed 21 checkposts in Belagavi district including the city, and also additional Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) forces have been deployed.

“We have decided to take measures to see to it that no untoward incident takes place, with a case coming up in the Supreme Court and also to see to it that incidents that happened last week, don’t repeat,” ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar has said.

This comes in the wake of some incidents like causing damage or blackening of buses and vehicles on both sides, over the border dispute.

Aimed at maintaining peace in the border areas, Karnataka and the Maharashtra police on Tuesday held a meeting at Nippani.

In the meeting, they have decided to act tough against elements trying to disrupt peace and harmony and cause damage to public properties.

The police also said that they are taking all precautionary measures, in the wake of the possible visit by Maharashtra Ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai to Belagavi on December 3 to meet the functionaries of Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) (Pro-Maharashtra outfit), active here.

A senior official said, the state police won’t block any private visits of leaders from Maharashtra, but will act if there are any attempts to disrupt peace.

All the precautionary measures have and will continue to be taken in the wake of the court case, possible visit of the Maharashtra Ministers and the upcoming Assembly session here in Belagavi from December 19.

The border dispute dates back to the 1960s after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.

Maharashtra laid claim to Belagavi which was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency as it has a sizable Marathi-speaking population. It also laid claim to a number of Marathi-speaking villages which are currently part of Karnataka.

On its part as an assertion that Belagavi is an integral part of the state, Karnataka has built the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, modelled on the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in Bengaluru, and a legislature session is held here once a year.

Slamming the neighbouring state’s leaders for “provocative” statements on the border dispute, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had recently said predominantly Kannada-speaking areas of Maharashtra including Solapur and Akkalkot regions belonged to the state.

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