New Delhi, Jul 30: The alleged police action against Marathi-speaking people in Belgaum district of Karnataka generated much heat in Lok Sabha today with Shiv Sena members demanding that the disputed boundary areas be turned into a Union Territory. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) expressed concern over the attack on Marathi-speaking people, saying 50 of them including women and children have been injured.
He alleged that Karnataka has always resorted to discrimination of the Marathi-speaking people and said Maharashtra has already approached the Supreme Court on the boundary row. Sawant, who was strongly supported by his party colleagues, apprehended reaction in Maharashtra if such attacks are not stopped.
BJP member from Karnataka Prahlad Joshi rejected the Sena contention and insisted that the boundary row has been settled after the Mahajan Commission report way back in 1960. He said the problem arose recently as some persons in Yellore village put up a board that it belongs to Maharastra.
Joshi said Belgaum and surrounding boundary areas have been part of Karnataka and would remain so. As soon as the House met for the day, Shiv Sena members created uproar over alleged police action against Marathi-speaking people in Belgaum, leading to disruption of the Question Hour.
Sena members came to the Well shouting slogans against Karnataka government for the alleged police action in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border district. Showing photographs of those allegedly injured in the police action and newspaper clippings, the Sena members demanded suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue.
Some BJP members from Karnataka stood in the aisle objecting to the Shiv Sena members’ protest. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan tried to persuade the Sena members to go back to their seats. As pandemonium continued, she adjourned the House till noon.
Tension prevailed in the border town of Belgaum in Karnataka after a board put up by some villagers revived a decades-old dispute with neighboring Maharashtra. On Sunday, police had allegedly lathicharged some villagers at Yellur in the district.