Chavan demands Central intervention in border dispute

Chavan demands Central intervention in border dispute

Stop atrocities on Marathi speakers: CM

Chavan, who led an all-party delegation to PM Manmohan Singh on the matter, alleged that there had been “atrocities” on the Marathi-speaking people in areas in Karnataka bordering Maharashtra, and urged the latter to depute a team of National Human Rights Commission to probe such incidents.

The development came a day after Chavan had demanded that 865 Marathi-speaking villages in the region be granted Union Territory status till the Supreme Court decided on the matter.

“We request the government of India to intervene immediately and stop all atrocities on the Marathi-speaking people in the disputed area,” Chavan said briefing the media at the Maharashtra Sadan here after the meeting with the Prime Minister.

“We presented a memorandum to the Prime Minister in the light of the resolution unanimously passed by the Maharashtra Assembly yesterday (Monday),” he said. Chavan, reading out from a prepared statement, said the Karnataka government, despite the suit pending in the apex court, had resorted to “several undemocratic and repressive measures by holding an Assembly session in Belgaum, harassing the Marathi-speaking people of the border area, changing the name of Belgaum to Belgavi, etc.”

“It is also a fact that the Chief Minister of Karnataka has issued a statement ‘warning’ the state of Maharashtra not to meddle in matters pertaining to Belgaum. Such acts have created strong resentment and protest,” he said. The Centre should advise Karnataka to “respect the fact” that the issues relating to the disputed areas are sub judice, and that until the apex court pronounces its verdict, the status quo should not be altered at all, he said.