The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike’s activists were booked for destroying public property and were produced before the court.

36 cases filed against pro-Kannada activists in Bengaluru for defacing Metro signs
news Namma Metro Saturday, July 22, 2017 - 11:12

On Thursday, activists from the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had defaced Hindi signs across various Metro Stations on both the Green and Purple lines in Bengaluru.

The Bengaluru Police have now registered 36 cases against the Vedike’s Narayana Gowda faction for blackening the signboards.

The Vedike’s activists were booked for destroying public property and were produced before the court. They were released on bail on Friday.

On Thursday, six KRV activists were arrested after they were found blackening the Hindi signboards at various Metro Stations, protesting against “Hindi imposition”.

However, the Vedike’s activists have accused police officers of falsely booking them under different sections of IPC including IPC 153 (a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). 

The activists claim they have not provoked anybody to commit violence and have never through actions or speeches promoted enmity or hatred between the two communities. 

“Why should the police book the activists under sections for which they have not even committed the crime. Karnataka Rakshana Vedike was protesting against Hindi imposition. We did not make any racist comments and neither did the activists say anything that would hurt the sentiments of any community. They are trying to strong-arm us into giving up our cause. That will never happen. We will continue to fight,” said Ganesh Chetan, a member of the Vedike.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, several members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike barged into multiple metro stations, shouting slogans against Hindi imposition, and daubed black paint over Hindi signs. 

Among the stations where they blackened signs, were Deepanjali Nagar, Peenya, Jayanagar, Baiyappanahalli, Indiranagar, Mysuru Road and Yeshwantpur.

The activists also said that they would continue covering up Hindi signs, as their demands have not been met.

As the campaign gathered steam, Hindi signs in many stations were taped over, though Namma Metro officials declined to take responsibility for this.

Recently, the KRV also convened a meeting with representatives of language activists and political party representatives from non-Hindi speaking states on the question of Hindi imposition.

Language activists from political parties like the MNS and DMK had condemned Hindi imposition during this meet.