Vijayapura: The police have made elaborate arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents ahead of the state-wide bundh on Saturday, called by several pro-Kannada outfits in protest of the Karnataka government’s decision to constitute a welfare board for the Maratha community.
In a statement released on Friday, Superintendent of Police Anupam Agrawal said that shops, business establishments and public transport will remain unaffected by the bundh. He, however, warned that any person or organization that tries to forcibly shut shops or prevent the public transport from functioning will be dealt as per the law.
“No one will be allowed to prevent the movement of vehicles or forcibly shut shops in the district. The police will not allow such things to occur,” he said.
He added that over 800 police personnel will be deployed in order to maintain law and order in the district on Saturday.
Apart from this, three platoons of the India Reserve Battalion and seven District Arms Reserve police platoons will be pressed into service.
Meanwhile, not all pro-Kannada outfits have extended their support to the bundh as several of them believe that formation of a welfare board for the Maratha community is justified.
Several Kannada organizations have stated that hundreds of Marathas are associated with Kannada organizations and are fighting for the cause of the language.
The bundh call has led to a strong face-off between the Kannada organizations and BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has openly been taken on the pro-Kannada activists in this regard.
Calling the activists and thieves who only extort money, Yatnal appealed to the people not to support the bundh.
His remarks have angered the pro-Kannada activists, including veteran Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, who was recently detained by the police when trying to hold a protest against the MLA and the government in Vijayapura.
Now, with the rift among the Kannada organizations becoming wider, the success of the bundh appears doubtful.