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Saturday, July 07, 2007

We’re agitating for Konkani’s sake: GKREM

The ‘Goa Konkani Rajya Ekikaran Manch’ (GKREM) has insisted that its agitation for the merger of Karwar, Supa and Haliyal with Goa is not against Kannada or the Kannada speaking people, but to preserve and conserve Konkani culture and the Konkani language.

Interacting with reporters at Sadashivgad, GKREM Convenor Asha Palankar stated that they have filed an interim appeal in the Supreme Court to deny Maharashtra’s claim on Belgaum, Nippani, Karwar, Haliyal and Supa.
Palankar said that in the Justice Mahajan report, the natives of Karwar, Supa and Haliyal were referred to as Konkani speaking and hence, the question of merger with Maharashtra did not arise and there was no Konkani State at that time.
“Fortunately today, we have Goa as a Konkani State adjoining these areas. Hence, our claim for merger is legitimate,” she said.
Replying to a query, Palankar said that since 1956 they are forced to stay in Karnataka and since then, they have been totally neglected by the Karnataka government.
“This is why we want to separate ourselves from Karnataka. Our agitation is not new as claimed by some Kannada newspapers. It exists from 1956 when Goa got the status of independent State. Since then, we have requested the Central Government to merge this Konkani speaking belt with Goa,” Palankar said.
More than 100 Konkani speaking people also attended.

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