Panchayat officer removes flag, Savarkar board | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Panchayat officer removes flag, Savarkar board

Jan 31, 2024 08:03 AM IST

The gram panchayat public development officer in Tenginagundi village removed a saffron flag and Savarkar’s nameplate from a circle, sparking protests.

Bengaluru: The gram panchayat public development officer (PDO) of Tenginagundi village in Uttara Kannada district removed a saffron flag and Savrakar’s nameplate from a circle on Tuesday. This lead to a protest by the villagers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and some gram panchayat members, including Govind Naik and Subraya Devadiga.

A saffron flag was removed in Tenginagundi village in Uttara Kannada district (HT)
A saffron flag was removed in Tenginagundi village in Uttara Kannada district (HT)

“We did not issue permission to anybody to construct a circle or put up a board,” said gram panchayat PDO M Sanjeeva. “In 2022, the BJP workers submitted an application for naming the circle as Savarkar Circle, but we have no powers to issue permission for any change in public places. Hence, we kept pending it. The board from the circle was cleared today,” he added.

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Accusing the PDO of acting under external pressure, the angry mob put up Savarkar’s board again within an hour.

“There are many unauthorised boards in the gram panchayat’s limits. We urged the PDO to remove all those boards also, but since he is acting as a puppet of a few leaders, he only removed the Savarkar’s board,” said Devadiga.

“The law should be the same for all. Hence, we put up the board again on the circle. If the gram panchayat takes action on all boards, we will remove it as well,” he added. “The majority of villagers have no objection to the board.”

Meanwhile, the Congress-supported members of the village’s gram panchayat supported the PDO’s move.

“The gram panchayat did not issue any permission for putting up any board. Hence, the unauthorised board and flag was taken down. If tomorrow some other organisation puts up a similar board at any other public place, it would lead to a controversy. Hence, they took action,” said Seyyed Ali.

The authorities maintained that they will remove all the unauthorised nameplates and boards from the village in the next few days.

“I visited the spot and verified that there is no law allowing the use of public places for putting up boards by any group or organisation. We cleared the unauthorised board,” said Bhatkal tehsildar, Tippe Swamy. “We are not acting on anyone’s instructions, but following the law to avoid clashes. We will remove all the unauthorised nameplates soon from the village,” he added.

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