KRV says this hotel had three other languages on its board, but not Kannada.

Signboard without Kannada defaced in Bengaluru Protests continue over Hindi imposition
news Saturday, July 08, 2017 - 13:01

Leaders of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada group, were arrested on Thursday for defacing the signboard of a restaurant in ATS Hospitality PVT Ltd located in EcoSpace Park in the Bellandur Special Economic Zone.

Angered by this, the Vedike members, under their leader Praveen Shetty, protested near the Gandhi statue in Bengaluru’s Gandhi Nagar on Saturday. The members also raised slogans against Hindi imposition and wanted the state government to ensure that Kannada is used on sign boards used by IT companies and Central government establishments operating in Karnataka.

Bellandur Police Inspector Victor Simon, said that members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had, on Wednesday, defaced the sign board of a restaurant in the tech park – Telugu Velugu.

“The sign board was in Telugu, Hindi and English languages and the members of the Vedike had defaced the board with black spray paint. On Wednesday, the owner of Telugu Velugu, Naveen Kumar Shetty, had filed an FIR after which, 25 members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike were detained for questioning and later released,” Inspector Simon said.

However, Vedike activists told the media that they had no opposition to private or public enterprises displaying sign boards with any language as long as they had Kannada too. According to them, this particular hotel was attacked as it did not have Kannada.

In 2015, the Karnataka Development Authority has asked the government to ensure that all signboards mandatorily had Kannada.

“We are going to protest and demand that our members be released and the case dropped. According to the law, Kannada and English signboards are permitted. There was no Kannada sign on the board of this hotel. We had also issued a notice to the owner to change it but he did not. Hence, we defaced it,” the Vedike’s leader, Praveen Kumar Shetty told TNM.

Shetty said that the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had informed Bengaluru Mayor, G Padmavati, through a letter, regarding the violation of the language policy, two months ago.

“No action was taken by the Mayor. On Tuesday, we wrote to the DCP Whitefield and also the shop owner, who did not take any action either. Hence we blackened the board. We will not stop until they release our members. We will continue protesting,” Shetty added.

At 1.00 am on Thursday, the Bellandur Police arrested the Vedike’s Mahadevapura Chief, Aravind, along with five others in connection with the defacement case.

The six members were booked under the Prevention of Destruction of Property Act 1981 and IPC sections 153A, 427, 109, 506, 504, 149, 143, 447 and 147.

Aravind and his aides were produced before the court on Friday. While Aravind was remanded to three-day police custody, the five others have been remanded to judicial custody.

The debate surrounding Hindi imposition has gained momentum on social media too.