Karnataka border trouble reaches city movie hall,ATM

The Border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka reared its head for the the first time in Pune when the Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena,the student wing of the Shiv Sena,vandalised Ratan theatre in Budhwarpeth that regularly shows Kannada movies.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published:January 22, 2009 1:08 am

The Border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka reared its head for the the first time in Pune when the Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena (BVS),the student wing of the Shiv Sena,vandalised Ratan theatre in Budhwarpeth that regularly shows Kannada movies. The protesters also wrote ‘Jay Maharashtra’ in saffron paint over the signboard and the glass walls of an ATM of Karnataka Bank Ltd in the same area.

Following the agitation,the theatre that was showing the movie Mahesha temporarily stopped screening the movie.

When contacted,DCP Raghunath Khaire said the police have registered a case against the protestors. “We have also started patrolling the city so as to avoid any such incident,” he said.

The protest began in the morning when the BVS members gathered in front of Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple in Budhwar Peth. Fifteen agitated BVS members pelted stones at the nearby Ratan theatre.

They broke the glass and tore up posters of Mahesha while raising slogans against the Karnataka government.

Then,the theatre management called the police but the BVS members had left when they arrived.

“The action was a warning for the Karnataka government and the agitation would be intensified if the Marathi-speaking people continue to face problems in Karnataka,” said Ajay Shinde,president of the city unit of BVS.

“The Kannada people attacking the branches of Bank of Maharashtra in Karnataka should not forget that there are branches of Karnataka Bank in the city,” Shinde warned.

He said the Shiv Sena would not tolerate any screening of Kannada movies in the city when the Marathi people were being harassed in Karnataka. Ratan theatre manager Dhanaji Bhujbal said the BVS members entered the theatre around 11 am and went on a rampage.

“The theatre screens a Kannada language movie once a day. However,we have suspended all these shows from today as a precautionary measure,” Bhujbal said.

Though the theatre has not filed any official complaint,he said the police questioned the staff about what had happened.

This is a fallout of Marathi-speaking people being caned by the Karnataka police in Belgaum on Friday. The protestors on Sunday had torched a Karnataka state transport bus at Latur in Maharashtra leading to disruption of bus service between the two states.

Shiv Sena leader and opposition leader in Maharashtra assembly,Ramdas Kadam,had threatened to break the alliance with the BJP in the state if the BJP government in Karnataka continued atrocities against the Marathi-speaking people in their state.

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