BJP’s Goa unit writes to Rajnath over arson in Karnataka

Panaji, Aug 26 (IANS) The BJP’s Goa unit complained to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh after a state transport corporation bus was burnt in Karnataka’s Hubli district early Wednesday as an alleged consequence of the ongoing water dispute between Goa and the neighbouring state.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president Vinay Tendulkar subtly warned the Karnataka government that a large section of Kannadigas lived harmoniously in Goa, but also added the BJP had no intention of harassing them over the Mhadei water dispute, which is currently being adjudicated by a central tribunal.

“The BJP, Goa requests you to kindly prevail upon the state government in Karnataka to act strictly against the miscreants and ensure full safety and security to the Goan people in Karnataka and also to the Goa registered vehicles passing through Karnataka state,” Tendulkar said in his letter to Singh.

In the incident at Hubli, miscreants torched the Kadamba Transport Corporation bus, which was to leave for Goa at 5:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Tendulkar said the arson in Karnataka and the torching of the bus by anti-Goa antagonists had “seriously endangered the spirit of federalism in our country and might result in retaliation activities here”.

Goa and Karnataka are currently battling over the waters of the Mhadei river before a central tribunal.

Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is known as the lifeline of the northern parts of the state.

It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa.

While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa. Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin.

Both the Goa government and civil society groups in the state have said diverting the waters of the river would sound the death knell of the northern areas of the state, which are dependent on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water supply.

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