Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday condemned the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti's (MES) claimed attack on persons taking out a wedding procession playing Kannada music in the border district of Belagavi, and warned of harsh action against those harassing Kannadigas in Karnataka.
He said that police had already taken action and that the government has sent out a clear warning to those who try to disrupt the peace by taking the law into their own hands. "We strongly oppose MES vandalism; our police have taken action, and we have given a strong message to the public on this subject." We cannot allow the law to be taken into the hands of the people," Bommai said.
The CM told reporters here that his government will take all necessary actions to ensure peace and order, adding that those who are causing problems for Kannadigas in Karnataka will be dealt with harshly.
On Thursday night, police apprehended nine MES employees for allegedly beating persons taking part in a wedding procession performing Kannada music in Dhamnae village in Belagavi. According to authorities, those who were hurt were sent to the hospital for treatment.
For many years, the MES has been campaigning in Belagavi's border territories for the union of 800-odd villages with Maharashtra. On linguistic grounds, Maharashtra maintains that the border district of Belagavi was once part of the Bombay Presidency, but is now a district of Karnataka.