The Shiv Sena on Monday termed the "assault" on Marathi-speaking populace in Karnataka by the police there as "Kannada terrorism" and asked the Narendra Modi government to intervene.
"In Mumbai, the Karnataka Bhawan and Karnataka Sangh buildings stand tall. However, a 'Maharashtra state' board in Karnataka is not tolerated and prompts such brutal assault which even puts Hafiz Saeed to shame," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.
"All political parties blasted the Maharashtra Sadan force-feeding issue. Will they show the same zeal in condemning this injustice on Marathi speaking people of Karnataka," the editorial asked.
"In Modi, we have a strong Prime Minister and in Rajnath Singh, we have got a strong Home Minister. The Marathi speaking populace in the border area has great expectation from them. If Karnataka Police is indulging in terror against Marathi-speaking people, it is the responsibility of the Central government to curb this terrorism. We are making this appeal to the Central government because those ruling Maharashtra are incompetent," it maintained.
Tension prevailed in Yellur — a Marathip-dominated border town of Karnataka — when police on Sunday resorted to lathicharge after locals protested against the removal of a Marathi signboard, which claimed the town was part of Maharashtra.
Removal of a Marathi signboard had led to tension in Yellur in Karnataka, forcing the police to resort to lathicharge on Sunday. Around 50 people were injured in the incident.
The local administration had, on Saturday, pulled down a 50-year-old concrete signboard which read: Maharashtra Rajya-Yellur [Yellur is a part of Maharashtra]. Upset with the move, locals re-erected the signboard on Sunday, after which the police acted against them.
To protest against the police action, the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti has called for a bandh in Belgaum district on Monday. Shiv Sena, which has been advocating the demand raised by locals from the border town, condemned the action.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan spoke with his counterpart in Karnataka and expressed displeasure over the incident. He said people should not create fear among residents of border towns.
Speaking to reporters at Tumkur, state law and parliamentary affairs TB Jayachandra said "Prohibitory order under section 144 of the IPC has been promulgated in Belgaum, Khanapur Taluka and Nippani town till July 29."
Meanwhile, Nitesh Rane, son of Industries Minister Narayan Rane said, "We won't allow Karnataka Day celebration in Mumbai to protest the assault." Mumbai's famous 'dabbawallas' have also condemned the assault on their Marathi brethren in Karnataka's border areas.
(With inputs from PTI)