Belagavi (Karnataka) [India], December 9 (ANI): Amid the row over the border dispute between Karnataka and Maharashtra, Belagavi Police on Friday said the situation in the area is "normal and peaceful".
"The situation in the Belagavi district is peaceful and normal with no incidents in the past few days. More than 200 buses have started plying to other states including Maharashtra. Pilgrims are visiting temples in Belagavi. More than 1000 devotees have visited and have gone back safely," Deputy commissioner and District Magistrate of Belagavi Nitesh Patil said.
He further appealed to the people and said, "There is no reason to worry. People should not pay attention to rumours. All the residents can start their routine activities."
Earlier Wednesday, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) suspended its bus services to Karnataka in wake of an alert from the police.
The State Transport Department confirmed that this has been done after a security alert from the police department that buses might be targeted and attacked inside Karnataka during the agitations related to the ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
After the Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute escalated, many untoward incidents took place in Belagavi on Tuesday.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that he would speak with Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the ongoing Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
Earlier, on Tuesday, Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai appealed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to fight the border dispute issue legally as it is in court now. Bommai also raised concerns over the visit of the two ministers to Belagavi.
Meanwhile, in Belagavi's Chikkodi as a precautionary measure, police presence has been tightened along the border.
According to police, six Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) contingents are deployed in Nippani Taluk. As many as 450 policemen assigned to Kuganolli Check Post.
Senior officials such as the Superintendent of Police (SP) Additional SP, DSPs, Police Inspectors, Sub-inspectors and 450 police personnel have been deployed.
All inner roads of Nippani and Chikkodi taluk are blocked. Police are checking every vehicle entering the border.
Belagavi is currently part of Karnataka but is claimed by Maharashtra. As per media reports, the long-running Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute started back in 1953, after the Maharashtra government objected to the inclusion of 865 villages including Belagavi.
The villages are spread across Belagavi and the north-western and north-eastern regions of Karnataka - all bordering Maharashtra.
After the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956, the Maharashtra government demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka. Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states.
Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer Kannada-speaking 260 villages predominantly, but it was turned down by Karnataka.
Now, both Karnataka and Maharashtra governments have approached the Supreme Court to expedite the matter, and the matter is still pending.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) leader Sarita Patil said, "The Maharashtra Ministers who were to come in Belgavi, now their programme is cancelled due to Mahaparinirvan Diwas as we got to know from Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's statement."
Maharashtra has appointed Chandrakant Patil and Shambhuraj Desai as the coordinating ministers for the state's border row with Karnataka. The two states have been entangled in a row for decades over the demarcation of boundaries between them. (ANI)