No forcible shutting of shops during Bandh: SP Agrawal

Kannada activists have called for Karnataka Bandh today against Maratha Board.

BIJAPUR; 04 Dec: With the several pro-Kannada outfits called for Karnataka Bhandh on Saturday to protest against the government’s announcement to constitute welfare board for Marathas, the district police have made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incident.

In a release here on Friday, Superintendent of Police, Aupam Agrawal has said that shop, business establishments and public transport will remain unaffected from the Bandh.

He however asserted that any person or organization that tries to forcibly shut the shops or prevent public transport from functioning, such people will be dealt according to the law.

“ No person will be allowed to prevent the transport of vehicles or forcibly shut the shop in the district. The police will not allow such thing to happen”, he said.

Agrawal said that over 800 police personnel will be deployed for maintaining law and order. Besides this, three platoons of India Reserve Battalion and 7 District Arms Reserve police Platoons will be pressed into service on Saturday.

It may be noted that after the BJP government announcing to set up welfare board for Maratha community, several pro-Kannada organizations in the State has deployed anguish and opposed the move.

While Kannada organizations have condemned the decision stating that it is anti-Kannadigas and to appease some Maratha people, the government however is defending the decision stating that the Board is meant for the welfare of Marathas and not for Marathi language in Karnataka.

Meanwhile not all pro-Kannada outfits have extended support as several of them do not support it because they believe that formation of welfare board for Marathas is justified.

They are also treading on the government line, stating that the board is for Marathas who are living in Karnataka for generations.

Several Kannada organizations said that even hundreds of Maratha people are associated with Kannada organizations and are fighting for the language.

Interestingly, the decision of Kannada organizations to call for Bandh has led to strong face-off between Kannada organizations and BJP MLA, Basanagouda Patil Yatnal who has openly taken on the Kannada activists.

Calling the activists and thieve who are only extorting money, he has appealed the people not to support the Bandh.

His remarks have angered Kannada activists including Vatal Nagaraj, the veteran Kannada activist who was recently detained by the police when he was trying to hold protest against Yatnal and the government in Bijapur.

Now, with the rift among the Kannada organizations clearly emerging, the success of the Bandh appears to be doubtful in the State.

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