Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said that no permission has been given to hold a bandh or protests in the city.

 Karnataka CM asks protestors to call off December 5 bandh
news Politics Friday, December 04, 2020 - 16:08

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday said that he is willing to listen to the demands of pro-Kannada groups, while reiterating that he is “not against development of the Kannada language”. He requested the protestors to withdraw their call for a bandh on December 5 and not inconvenience the public. 

“I am requesting protesters to not call for a bandh and to withdraw it. We have not given permission for any bandh in the state. I am ready to give whatever is necessary for Kannada development and more so, as we are Kannadigas. I am requesting everyone to withdraw the call for a bandh and not to disrupt normal life,” BS Yediyurappa said. 

In the heels of Yediyurappa’s statement in Nanjangud’s Sutturu, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant held a press conference and said that no permission has been granted to any organisation to organise a bandh on Saturday. Several pro-Kannada groups led by the President of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, Vatal Nagaraj, have called for a state-wide bandh opposing the establishment of the Maratha Development Board. 

While commercial establishments, metro and bus services will function uninterrupted, the cab and autorickshaw drivers’ associations have extended their support for the bandh and said that they would not operate their services. 

“We have not given permission for any bandh. We will take stringent action against anyone causing mischief, especially if there are any untoward incidents,” Kamal Pant said. 

Over 15,000 police personnel will be deployed across the city to watch out for protests, which are likely to erupt across areas. “We have deployed teams under Additional Superintendents of Police, Deputy Commissioners of Police and SPs, who will monitor the situation,” Kamal Pant said. 

As many as 35 Karnataka State Reserve Police teams and 32 City Armed Reserve police teams will be deployed in Bengaluru. “Police personnel will be deployed in all areas of the city to ensure that peace and normal life is not disrupted,” Kamal Pant said. 

Reacting to the Police Commissioner’s statement, Vatal Nagaraj said that the protest march from the railway station in Majestic to Freedom Park would take place and that the protestors “do not require permission to do so”. 

“We are not going to cause any mischief. But we will hold the protest march. We don’t need permission and we won’t ask for it. If the police want to shoot at us, we will see what happens tomorrow,” Vatal Nagaraj said, while adding that Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has ordered police personnel to dress in civilian attire, to monitor the situation. 

“If the police in civilian clothes attack us, we will not be responsible for what happens,” he said. 

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