A Kannada outfit staged a protest in Delhi at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday, December 28, to demand action against the recent torching of a Kannada flag in Maharashtra's Kolhapur. Some miscreants reportedly burnt a Kannada flag in Kolhapur on December 14 when the Karnataka legislature was in session in Belagavi, which shares a border with Maharashtra.
Maharashtra has been demanding merger of Belagavi and some other border areas with it claiming that a substantial number of Marathi-speaking people reside there. The outfit, Jaya Karnataka Janapara Vedike, said in a statement that the Union government should immediately intervene and take strict action against those involved.
"The Union government should immediately intervene, and take strict action against those who are attempting to foment unrest between the people of the two states, by calling the meeting of chief ministers and leaders of all parties of both Karnataka and Maharashtra," the group said in a statement.
It added that the government should ban such organisations who are "trying to poison the relationship of the two states against the spirit of our Constitution". "A special team comprising skilled investigators should be formed to solve such cases and this should be dealt with in a fast track court. CCTV cameras should be installed near the statues of martyrs for their protection," the outfit said.
The Karnataka assembly on December 16 had decided to pass a censure motion against the burning of the Kannada flag. Besides the flag burning incident, tension prevailed in Belagavi after a statue of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna was defaced in the city, days after a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was vandalised in Bengaluru. The incidents have reignited the dispute over the border district of Belagavi, which Maharashtra claims should belong to it.