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Yellur row: Pune chief warns Karnataka govt of 'MNS style' protest

MNS workers burned effigy of K’taka CM Siddaramaiah to express annoyance over the alleged mistreatment of Marathi-speaking people

“We protested in a democratic manner against the anti-Marathi stand of the Karnataka government, but don’t push us too hard. If the Karnataka government continues to assault our people then we’ll be left with no choice but to protest in ‘MNS’ style,” said Bala Shedge, city president, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). 

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
MNS men burnt an effigy of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Alka chowk

The city wing of the party expressed its outrage by taking to the streets to protest against the Karnataka government’s alleged anti-Marathi stand. MNS men burnt the effigy of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Alka Chowk, and blackened the signboards of Dr Shamrao Kalmadi High School (previously known as Karnataka High School) and an ATM booth of Karnataka Bank at Appa Balwant Chowk.


Blackened signboards of Dr Shamrao Kalmadi High School (previously known as Karnataka High School)

“MNS has always been firm on its stand of accepting the culture of the state where the person is residing, irrespective of his/her mother tongue. We have told this to the Marathi people of Karnataka. However, the steps taken by the Karnataka government to curb the protest by Marathi people in Yellur were inhuman,” he said. Shedge warned the Karnataka government of the repercussions Kannadigas residing in the city might have to face if it does not to stop its alleged onslaught against Maharashtrians in Karnataka.

ATM
An ATM booth of Karnataka Bank at Appa Balwant Chowk

“In Pune, there is large Kannada-speaking population. Almost all the hotel owners in the city are from Udupi district in Karnataka, but we have never bothered them. All were accepted as residents of Maharashtra. However, if the Karnataka government continues its injustice against ‘our’ people, then we would be no choice but to tackle the issue in our own style,” warned Shedge.

Trigger
Tension prevailed in Yellur, a town located in the border district of Belgaum, after police lathicharged people protesting against the removal of a signboard in Marathi which claimed that the town was part of Maharashtra. About 50 protesters were injured in the incident, which took place on July 27.

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