Belgaum ignores MES bundh call

Belgaum ignores MES bundh call

all is well: It was business as usual at Khade Bazaar in Belgaum on Sunday despite the bundh call given by MES.  KPN

The call by Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) for a city bundh on Sunday protesting against burning of a Bhagwa flag and an effigy of Shiva Sena supremo Bal Thackeray by activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Praveen Shetty group) passed off peacefully barring stray incidents of stone throwing on four state transport buses.

Despite the bandh call, the day began normally with almost all shops and business establishments opening their shops. But some of them downed the shutters after the incidents of stone throwing on buses by MES activists.

City buses, autos and other vehicles plied and cinema theaters were open.
Barring stone throwing incidents involving four buses in which the driver of the bus was injured, the bundh was peaceful with prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC in force since Saturday.

Negligence

Even as the Maharashtra official machinery and the media have roused themselves in the aftermath of the Union Government filing its affidavit in the Supreme Court on a petition by Maharashtra demanding merger of 814 villages including Belgaum city in to Maharashtra, the administration this side of the border has been passive, with Karnataka ruling and Opposition parties had been busy in the controversy over illegal mining.

Movement of buses between Karnataka and Maharashtra has remained suspended for the past few days and the private transporters have been minting money charging double - triple the fare to take and bring the people across the border.

With the support of the Maharashtra government the MES and Shiva Sena, which were losing their base in the border area, have activated themselves in Belgaum city and unrest prevailed in the border areas, disrupting normal life.

"It's all happening but Karnataka government, the Opposition as well as the district incharge minister have failed to rise to the occasion on the lines of Maharashtra and its leaders on the issue," remarked a pro-Kannada activist, echoing the views of many. The fratricidal infighting in the Karnataka political establishment has been in stark contrast to the unity demonstrated by the ruling as well as Opposition parties in Maharashtra, who rushed to Delhi to pursue the border row.

Even the local people’s representatives in the Legislature and Parliament have been maintaining silence even after attacks on Kannadigas, Kannada flag and pelting of stones buses. TV channels in Maharashtra have been airing pictures from Belgaum that tended to show that it was the Marathi-speaking people who were at the receiving end in Karnataka.

In the past few days, more than 15 buses have been damaged in the protests organised after filing of the affidavit by the Union Government in the apex court.

Comments (+)