Bengaluru metro authorities have said they are following a three-language rule
Hindi signboards at some metro stations in Bengaluru were blackened by members of a pro-Kannada group on Thursday. The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists protested outside Peenya, Rajajinagara, Yeshwanthpur and Jayanagara metro stations, among others, and blacked Hindi words on some metro signboards, the police said.
The group has been protesting against what they claim was the centre's alleged attempt to "impose" Hindi in a largely Kannada-speaking state in the south. A campaign known as "Hindi beda" (we don't want Hindi) had also trended on social media
earlier this month.
"At 5 in the morning our workers covered 40 metro boards, Hindi boards. Why are they forcing Hindi on us? If this continues we will stop the trains too," president of the pro-Kannada group Narayan Gowda told NDTV.
The metro authorities have said they have been following a three-language rule made by the centre. The state government, however, has found itself with little room to move since it shares the cost of running the metro with the centre in a joint venture, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited or BMRC.
The Kannada Development Authority had also issued notice to BMRC over the matter.
"We have taken a stand in favour of Kannada. I request them not to indulge in these kinds of things. When our chief minister himself is for Kannada, why are they doing all these things?" Bengaluru Development and Town Planning Minister KJ George told reporters.
The activists, however, said they will continue to protest.
The Congress government in Karnataka has also set up a nine-member panel that will explore how the state can legally have its own separate flag and suggest a design, a move questioned not just by rival parties
but also the Congress' leadership in Delhi.