A group of residents of Mulky has launched an agitation for fulfilling the long-pending demand of according taluk status to Mulky. The agitation is prompted by the announcement of two new taluks – Moodbidri and Kadaba — by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar during the budget.

“We have been agitating for taluk status for Mulky for a long time. By announcing two new taluks, Mr. Shettar has cold shouldered our demand,” said the former Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Harikrishna Punaroor, who is the president of Mulky Nyayalaya Mattu Taluk Horata Samiti. Mr. Punaroor said their agitation will be held till Wednesday and they will give the government 10 days to take a decision. “If the government does not announce their decision, we will intensify our fight,” he said.

Bhuvanadhirama Udupa, treasurer of the samiti, said they had been fighting for taluk status for Mulky, which had been taken away several years ago. Mulky harbour, he said, was very active and numerous goods were shipped abroad from there. The customs office was situated here. As many as four committees had recommended that Mulky taluk should be formed. “The State government has yielded to pressures and announced the formation of Moodbidri taluk. The government has neglected our genuine demands. We cannot be a part of Moodbidre taluk,” Mr. Udupa said.

Dinesh Hegde Ulepady, an advocate and secretary of the samiti, said there had been instances, wherein people of Mulky had been treated unjustly. A Junior Civil Judge Court in Mulky was transferred to Moodbidri, which is 35 km away, in 2004. Because of this, people from Mulky had to go to Moodbidri for civil litigations. To challenge the orders of the Junior Court, litigants had to approach the Senior Division Court in Karkala and then the Sessions Court in Mangalore, he said. A Fire and Emergency Services station in Mulky was moved to Moodbidri, he said. The samiti members began their agitation on Monday at the Mulky bus stand. On Tuesday, the samiti members blocked movement of the traffic on the highway for 15 minutes. They raised slogans against the government by covering their eyes with black ribbons. Mr. Punaroor said residents would not vote in the forthcoming Assembly elections if their demands for taluk status for Mulky and a Civil Judge Junior Division Court were not met.

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