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Maha condemns Karnataka cops' action against Marathi speakers

Maharashtra Cabinet today unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the police action against Marathi-speaking population in Yellur village in the neighbouring Karnataka.

Talking to reporters here, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, "Rs one lakh each would be provided as financial assistance for medical treatment to those injured in the brutal lathi charge." "I will submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister about the state government's demand that the Marathi-speaking areas on the Maharashtra-Karnataka boundary be declared a union territory till the Supreme Court settles the long pending boundary dispute," Chavan said.

Meanwhile, sources said the financial assistance of Rs one lakh each for medical treatment would be provided from the Chief Minister's relief fund. "Some senior ministers are likely to be deputed to co-ordinate the relief disbursement with the local authorities in Yellur," sources said adding that the issue was raised in the cabinet meeting by Textile Minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan and Co-operation Minister Harshvardhan Patil.

Sources said Chief Minister briefed the cabinet about his telephonic talk with his Karnataka counterpart Siddharamaiah and lodged his protest over the police brutalities on protesters including senior citizens.

"Chavan told him that such incidents have to be avoided and would not be tolerated in future," sources said. Tension prevailed in the border town of Belgaum in Karnataka after a board put up by some villagers revived a decades-old dispute with neighbouring Maharashtra. On Sunday, police had lathicharged some villagers at Yellur in the district. On Friday, the district administration had removed "Maharashtra Rajya" plaque at Yellur that was erected by the pro-Maharashtra supporters.

The resolution adopted by the state cabinet said, "The government and people in the border areas were fighting their battle for justice in a democratic manner. The case is pending in the Supreme Court and the action of the Karnataka police to brutally beat up protesters was condemnable." The cabinet also resolved to stand by the marathi-speaking people of the border areas and would fight the case legally.

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