Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute spirals; MH trucks targeted, Ministers’ Belagavi visit cancelled

  • The tussle between Karnataka and Maharashtra states over the boundary dispute between the two states took a violent turn on Tuesday as a large number of Kannada activists who were stopped by the police at Hirebagewadi toll plaza indulged in throwing stones at Maharashtra-registered vehicles and damaging them.
  • Belgaum or Belagavi is at its centre as Maharashtra has been claiming that this Marathi-majority area was wrongly given to Kannada-majority Karnataka in the language-based reorganisation of states in the 1960s.
  • Maharashtra, since its inception in 1960, has been entangled in a dispute with Karnataka over the status of the Belgaum district and 80 other Marathi-speaking villages, which are under the control of the southern state.
  • The incident occurred when the activists of Karnataka Rakshna Vedike, headed by its state president Narayanagowda tried to enter Belagavi via the Hirebagewadi toll plaza on Tuesday morning.
  • The activists were on their way to Rani Chennamma Circle, Belagavi, in protest against the possible arrival of two Maharashtra cabinet ministers, Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai, to Belagavi. In spite of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s appeal against entering Belagavi, the two ministers had issued statements that they would enter Belagavi on December 6. However, the two ministers decided against visiting Belagavi due to the escalating tension on the border and the pressure exerted by various Kannada groups and Bommai for the past few days.


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