In the backdrop of the recent border row between Karnataka and Maharashtra, the Karnataka Police stopped more than 300 pro-Maharashtra activists from entering the Belagavi district in the state Monday. Notably, the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly kicked off in Belagavi Monday.
The Madhyavarti Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MMES), a pro-Maharashtra organisation that has been seeking the merger of Belagavi district into Maharashtra, had planned to stage an agitation in Belagavi as part of its annual Maha Melava protest, but the district administration denied permission citing the law-and-order issue.
A massive police force was deployed at the borders. Additional Inspector General of Police (law and order) Alok Kumar also inspected the area.
The MMES had planned to hold a protest at the Tilakwadi vaccine depot in Belagavi but the administration clamped prohibitory orders in areas under the jurisdiction of the Tilakwadi Police Station. Denied permission, the MMES along with NCP and Shiv Sena workers staged a protest at the nearby Kognoli toll plaza.
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With more than 61 organisations seeking permission from the Belagavi district administration to hold protests during the Assembly session, Belagavi city has turned into a police fortress. The vehicles from Maharashtra are being checked thoroughly at the border. According to police sources, nearly 5,000 police personnel including six SPs, 11 additional SPs, 43 deputy SPs, 95 inspectors, and 241 sub-inspectors have been deployed in the border town.