Following the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row where recently, Shiv Sena workers burnt effigies of Karnataka CM Yediyurappa in Kolhapur, Kannada groups on Tuesday held protests in Bengaluru burning effigies of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray. On December 20, in a bizarre comment, the Maharashtra Chief Minister had called Belgaum "Karnataka-occupied Maharashtra" drawing comparisons with the POK after which protests erupted in both states. The Maharashtra government also constituted a committee including ministers Chhagan Bhujbal and Eknath Shinde as co-ordinators to resolve border issues between the areas bordering Karnataka.
The Karnataka CM in a statement yesterday had rubbished any possibilities of even "an inch" of Belgaum being given to Maharashtra. Following their CM's statements as well as the provocative comments of a Kannada organization Chief who said that those who want Belgaum to be incorporated in Maharashtra should be made to "stand on the border" and "shot dead," protestors today gathered to burn effigies of Uddhav Thackeray. In the past two days, protests on this five decade old issue have resurfaced which has also led to the suspension of bus services from Kolapur in Maharashtra to Belgaum in Karnataka.
The border issue involves a set of 800+ villages along with Belgaum district being claimed by Maharashtra as a part of the state on linguistic grounds. The Marathi-speaking majority district, which was previously a part of the Bombay presidency was given to Karnataka after independence. While several Maharashtra leaders including Senapati Bapat have fought for regaining Belgaum, the government-appointed Mahajan Commission awarded Maharashtra 264 villages including Nandagad, Nippani Khanapur in 1967, but let Karnataka keep Belgaum, while Kasargod went to Kerala.
The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti which was founded in 1948, protested and have recently submitted their list of demands and memorandum to Thackeray. Later in 2005, the Maharashtra government filed a petition in the Supreme Court staking claim over Belgaum. The Supreme Court began its hearing on Maharashtra's petition on 17 January 2007 and is still being heard in the apex court.