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Bengaluru Metro signboards defaced again by pro-Kannada outfit

The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a hardline pro-Kannada fringe group, claimed responsibility for vandalising the boards at eight Metro stations in Bengaluru.

bengaluru Updated: Jul 20, 2017 21:39 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Bengaluru Metro,Bengaluru,Karnataka Rakshana Vedike
Activists of a hardline pro-Kannada group defacing a Metro signboard on Thursday. (Photo: Videograb)

Signboards at Bengaluru’s Metro stations were defaced again on Thursday, with Hindi letters painted over in black.

The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Forum for protection of Karnataka), a hardline pro-Kannada fringe group, claimed the responsibility for vandalising the boards at eight stations.

“We are willing to face the law... but we will not stop our movement till the imposition of Hindi stops,” KRV leader TA Narayana Gowda said.

Earlier this month, Hindi signs were papered over at two stations. Names of stations are written in Kannada, English and Hindi.

The KRV defaced some boards earlier this year as well but the row has escalated after the some sharp exchanges between the Congress-ruled state and at the BJP government at the Centre.

Chief minister Siddarmaiah said the state has put in more money in the Metro project than the Centre, so it didn’t have to follow the three-language policy notified by the Union government.

But, union ministers DV Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar, who are both from Karnataka, have spoken in favour of the three-language policy.

Earlier this year, the Centre notified recommendations of a parliamentary panel that called for use of Hindi by MPs and ministers.

The notification also asked non-Hindi speaking states to use three languages -- the state’s official language, Hindi, and English – for announcements and in signboards at metro and train stations.

“Today, the people of Karnataka are being called traitors by the national media just because we have demanded that our Kannada flag be made an official flag,” KRV’s Gowda said. “They have twisted this to mean that we have rejected the national flag.”

The state government recently set up a panel to study legal provisions of having a state flag, a move seen as a gambit by the Congress ahead of next year’s assembly election.

The only Indian state with a separate flag is Jammu and Kashmir that, too, because it enjoys special powers under Article 370 of the Constitution.

First Published: Jul 20, 2017 15:48 IST