State minister detained in K’taka; Raut says will go to Belgaum todayUpdated: Jan 17, 2020 23:49 IST
Maharashtra minister of state for health Rajendra Patil-Yedravkar was allegedly detained in Belgaum, Karnataka, and was not allowed to speak at a meeting organised by the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti on Friday. The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka is likely to intensify as Shiv Sena leader and Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut said he will travel to Belgaum on Saturday.
The minister had gone to Belgaum to pay respects to the martyrs of the united Maharashtra movement. He was to address workers of the committee, but was allegedly manhandled and escorted back to the border by the police.
Raut, who is reaching Belgaum at 2pm on Saturday, has warned local authorities not to stop his entry into the city. The Sena leader claimed that the Karnataka government has ordered that his entry be blocked. He said Yadravkar had gone to Belgaum to pay homage to the martyrs, but the Karnataka government stopped him and manhandled him.
Raut said, “I have, however, learnt that the Karnataka government has issued special orders to prevent my entry in Belgaum. Belagum is in India. There may be border issues between Maharashtra and Karnataka. I am, however, a Rajya Sabha MP and an Indian citizen, hence I have decided to go. If you want to stop me, do so legally. Don’t attempt to forcefully stop me.”
The border dispute between the two states has been simmering for decades. Tensions had reignited in the border areas in between December 28 and 30 last year. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray raked up the issue and described Belgaum district as “Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra”. Effigies of Thackeray and Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa were burnt on both sides of the border by local outfits. State transport buses were stopped between Kolhapur and Belgaum as a precautionary measure.
On Friday, Raut said that Marathi-speaking people are under attack in the neighbouring state. “For some time now, Marathi people and Marathi language are constantly under attack by the Karnataka government and even the Marathi literary meets have been banned,” he said
Maharashtra claims an area of 2,806 square miles, which involved 814 villages and three urban settlements of Belgaum, Karwar and Nippani, were all part of the Mumbai Presidency before independence. The Marathi-speaking villages are spread across Belagavi and Uttar Kannada in north-western Karnataka, and Bidar and Gulbarga districts in north-eastern Karnataka — all bordering Maharashtra.