Bengaluru: Pro-Kannada activists stage protest, demand release of activists

Bengaluru Police had detained KRV members, who staged a protest in Bengaluru demanding that all businesses & enterprises in Karnataka put up boards in Kannada at their shops in keeping with the state's obligation that 60% of them are in Kannada.

Bengaluru: Pro-Kannada activists staged a protest at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park, demanding the immediate release of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) activists detained by police.

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The protest was also attended by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers. They demanded the immediate release of KRV State President TA Narayan Gowda. Earlier in the day, some protesters were released by the Bengaluru police and were given a grand welcome by the group.

AAP leader Mukhyamantri Chandru claimed that the pro-Kannada fighters did nothing wrong and only did what the government should have done at the first place.

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“What did pro-Kannada fighters do wrong? Robbed or murdered? Shop name boards in English and Hindi have been removed. Our pro-Kannada fighters have done what the government should have…If pro-Kannada fighters are not released, then we will teach the government a lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Mukhyamantri Chandru said.

Bengaluru Police, on Wednesday, detained KRV members, who staged a protest in Bengaluru demanding that all businesses and enterprises in Karnataka put up boards in Kannada at their shops and commercial establishments in keeping with the state’s obligation that 60 per cent of them are in Kannada.

The public awareness protest was held under the leadership of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike State President TA Narayan Gowda.

It has also come to the fore that the KRV activists also vandalised shops that had signboards in English letters. The members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike also broke flower pots outside the Mall of Asia in Bangalore, broke signboards in English and sprayed black ink on them, officials said earlier.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and State Congress Chief DK Shivakumar said on Thursday that everyone has a right to protest in a democracy but taking law into one’s own hands can’t be tolerated after pro-Kannada protesters went on a rampage in Bengaluru.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Shivakumar said, “In a democracy, everyone has the right to protest. We can’t tolerate anyone taking the law into their hands. I am disturbed that they (pro-Kannada protesters) vandalised boards and establishments etc.”

Shivakumar also said that all shops should follow the recent BBMP order, where the civic body directed the shops to prioritize Kannada on signage boards.

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