Pro-Kannada activists on Thursday defaced Hindi signboards in the vicinity of 40 Metro stations in Bengaluru as part of a campaign to oppose the use of Hindi as a third language by the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists painted Hindi signboards outside the stations black around 4 am, before commencement of Metro services.
“Our intention was not to disrupt the services. We coloured the boards black in the early hours because we did not want to trouble commuters,” said B Sanneerappa, a leader of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike. Police have arrested 10 persons for defacing Hindi signboards at City Market station. Security at all Metro stations has been enhanced.
Soon after the first phase of the Metro became operational on June 18, pro-Kannada groups had asked BMRCL to halt the use of Hindi at Metro stations. The Kannada Development Authority also issued a 15 day deadline to BMRCL to remove Hindi signages. The activists are also demanding the removal of IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola, the BMRCL MD, for implementing the use of Hindi on the directions of the Centre.