BELGAUM: The controversial ‘Maharashtra Rajya Yellur’ nameboard, which was removed by the district administration last Friday, was reconstructed and put back up by the villagers the very next day.
Hundreds of locals, including youths and women, are said to have contributed; they also hoisted a bhagwa (saffron) flag beside the board. Officials had removed the board following a High Court order.
The police couldn’t enter the village as the villagers had blocked the approach road using fallen tree trunks. Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Bhaskar Rao told Express that police forces were withdrawn from the village on Friday night. The villagers also chased away media personnel using sticks, stones and chilli powder, threatening of dire consequences for those who dare to touch or remove the board.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti called upon all Marathi-dominated villages to construct similar boards at the entrance to their villages.
Two years ago, after protests by Kannada organisations, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had removed the board. But the villagers had constructed another one in its place.