Border row: Workers of Shiv Sena (UBT), MNS paint Karnataka buses with ‘Jai Maharashtra’ graffiti in Pune district

Pune: Amid a simmering border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, activists of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on Tuesday claimed to have painted at least four buses of Karnataka state transport corporation in Pune district during separate protests.

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They also wrote “Jai Maharashtra” on these buses.

A local leader of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction confirmed they sprayed black and orange paints on at least three buses in Swargate area of Pune city.

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Workers of the Shiv Sena (UBT) faction sprayed at least two-three buses of Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) with black paint. They also used an orange spray to write “Jai Maharashtra” on these buses, he said.

“We have detained four to five people who painted the buses,” a police officer said.

In Pune district, MNS activists sprayed paint on a KSRTC bus on the Pune-Bengaluru stretch of the national highway in the Ambegaon area, a party leader said.

The Karnataka-bound bus was painted with the message “Jai Maharashtra” and “MNS”, he said.

The border issue dates back to 1957 after the reorganisation of states on linguistic lines.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai recently sought a merger of “Kannada-speaking” areas in Maharashtra’s Akkalkot and Solapur and had also said some villages in Jat taluka in Sangli district wanted to join the southern state.

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