“Free Kashmir”, “Fascist Modi Resign”, “No CAA”, “No NRC” was some of the writing found on the walls on the walls of Church Street.

news Controversy Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 16:01

Graffiti on the walls of Bengaluru’s Church Street has been there for a long time. But if you looked at the graffiti closely on Tuesday morning, there were some additions.

“Free Kashmir”, “Fascist Modi Resign”, “No CAA”, “No NRC” was some of the writing found on the walls on the walls of Church Street. Some of the words were spray painted on the already existing graffiti on abandoned walls and shutters of Shringar Shopping Complex opposite the Times Now office.

More such slogans, such as “BJP is cancer, kill it before it kills you” and “I will not show my papers” were spray painted on walls adjoining the MG Road metro station on the Church Street exit.

Cubbon Park Police Station Inspector B Iyyana Reddy told TNM that an FIR will be registered by them on a suo motu basis, and no suspects have been identified yet. When asked under what sections the FIR will be registered, he said, “At this moment we cannot disclose further details.”

Chetan Singh Rathore, DCP Central, also told TNM,"We just came to know of the incident this morning. We have not registered a case yet but we will do it today under the Prevention of Destruction and Loss of Property Act. In the past as well, there have been cases of people drawing graffiti. A few months ago, Central division police had arrested two people for drawing on boundary walls, and drawing graffiti. We will look at CCTV footage and take all measures to find out who destroyed the property." 

TNM had seen two police vehicles and officials inspecting the new graffiti on Tuesday morning. However, they did not reveal any further details. The police will have to file FIR as some of the graffiti found on Tuesday morning said “Modi die”.

In a development, a group of people who said they were from organisations including Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS came to Church Street on Tuesday afternoon and painted over the dissenting graffiti. On the wall of the defunct Shringar Shopping Complex, they used saffron paint to paint over anti-CAA, NRC and NPR graffiti, and also wrote "We support CAA NRC NPR." In other places, such as the wall in front of the Church street exit of the MG Road Metro, they used black and white paint in an attempt to camouflage the morning's graffiti. 

These come at a time the country is seeing widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens. Despite continuing protests however, the CAA came into effect on January 10. However, the rules for the Act - such as what documents will be needed to prove citizenship and so on, have not been notified yet.  

(This story has been updated.)