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Day after violence, semblance of normalcy in Belagavi district

While restrictions on vehicle movement were lifted, locals said they feared the situation could flare up ahead of the Winter Session of the Karnataka Legislature from December 19 to 30.

Police detain Karnataka Rakshana Vedike supporters at Hirebagewadi in Belagavi on Dec. 7. (Photo: ANI)
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A day after the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra escalated into vandalism in the Hirebagewadi area near Belagavi, the situation in the district returned to a semblance of normalcy on Wednesday.

While the movement of goods and private vehicles was unaffected, only a few buses belonging to the transport corporations of Karnataka and Maharashtra were operational, affecting commuters who travel between the states.

Restrictions had been placed on vehicle movement on Tuesday after stones were pelted at buses from Maharashtra. The police on Tuesday had also diverted vehicles along both sides of the Kognoli Toll Plaza, around 85 km from Belagavi. A day later, the checkpoints were removed. The checkpoints were set up to ensure that a delegation of Maharashtra ministers did not visit parts of Belagavi on December 6 as the Belagavi district administration had prohibited their entry, citing law and order concerns.

Even as traffic restrictions were eased, locals like Kannada activist Ashok Chandargi said they feared the situation could flare up ahead of the Winter Session of the Karnataka Legislature, scheduled at Belagavi from December 19 to 30.

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The decades-old border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra has heated up yet again with politicians on both sides staking claim to several villages along the border. Following the violence on Tuesday, the chief ministers of both states spoke to each other to ensure that the dispute did not spiral out of control. “Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Eknath Shinde had telephonic discussion with me, we both agreed that there should be peace and law and order to be maintained in both the states. Since there is harmonious relation between the people of both the states, however there is no change in our stand as far as Karnataka border is concerned. And the legal battle will be pursued in Supreme Court,” Basavaraj Bommai tweeted late Tuesday evening.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too had spoken to Bommai after Maharashtra vehicles were targeted in Karnataka and expressed his disappointment.

A delegation from Maharashtra comprising ministers Chandrakant Patil and Shamburaj Desai, and MP Dhairyasheel Mane, had called off their proposed visit to Belagavi city, saying they would do so on a later date.

First published on: 07-12-2022 at 12:58 IST
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