Amidst the Karnataka-Maharashtra border row escalating, Belagavi district administration on December 5, Monday, issued orders barring entry of two Maharashtra Ministers and an MP who were to arrive in the city on Tuesday and meet leaders of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES).
Deputy Commissioner and district magistrate Nitesh Patil issued prohibitory orders under article 144 of CrPC, barring entry of the trio who are members of the Maharashtra High Power Committee on the Border Dispute. According to the government order, there are apprehensions that the Ministers could deliver provocative speeches against the Karnataka government or Kannada language.
In an order issued on Monday, Mr. Patil asked Chandrakant (Dada) Patil, Higher Education Minister, Shambhuraj Desai, Excise Minister, and Dhairyasheel Mane, MP, not to cross the border and enter Belagavi district, as it was likely to disturb peace and law and order in the border district.
Potential to disturb peace
Mr. Patil cited instances of recent law and order disturbances in Belagavi city and in the district. He also quoted statements of leaders of Kannada and Marathi groups and the claims of Mr. Patil and others of entering Belagavi and holding meetings with pro-Marathi groups, all of which had the potential to disturb peace.
Earlier in the day, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai indicated “tough action” to maintain law and order situation.
Speaking to reporters, he said, “It is not right for the Maharashtra ministers to visit Belagavi despite Karnataka Chief Secretary writing to Maharashtra government about it. We have communicated in writing that it is going to create law and order problem.”
‘Not the right time’
Acknowledging that they have the freedom to move around freely in the country, he said, “However, this is not the right time to come. The State government has certain rights to maintain law and order. I have directed the revenue and police officials to take steps that will ensure maintenance of law and order.”
Appealing to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde against the visit of the Maharashtra Ministers, Mr. Bommai said, “Border issue has been sorted out already. Despite that you (Maharashtra) have gone to the Supreme Court. Whatever legal battle there is, let us fight. However, the harmonious relationship between people of both states should not be affected.”