Six pro-Kannada activists held for tearing Hindi banner

Six people belonging to a pro-Kannada outfit have been arrested for tearing down a Hindi hoarding outside a Jain community hall, police said on Monday.

The arrest has triggered a social media uproar, with two former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah and H D Kumaraswamy demanding their release.

'#ReleaseKannadaActivists' was trending on twitter.

Reacting to the arrest, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said his government gave utmost priority to safeguard the interests of Kannada and Kannadigas and there would be no compromise in it.

Police said the incident took place on Friday evening near a Jain community hall here, where few people belonging to a pro-Kannada outfit tore down the hoarding in Hindi put up outside, citing exclusion of Kannada in it as the reason. The video footage of the group arguing with a person over usage of only Hindi and no Kannada in the hoarding, and then tearing it has also gone viral.

On receiving a complaint, police said they registered a case and arrested the six on Sunday. BJP MP from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya has tweeted against the actions of those claiming to be Kannada activists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Deeply hurt over attack on our Jain brothers in B'luru over Hindi on a banner of a temple by few rowdy elements. They however never question use of (Urdu) in Bengaluru. Assaulting peaceful Jains who contribute to Karnataka brings infamy to genuine Kannada lovers & activists," he tweeted.

 

As the news of the arrest spread, few groups too demanded the release of those arrested. Former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said the Karnataka governments act to crush Kannada activists using police, "by adding religion and political colour to Kannada agitation is condemnable."

"I demand that the state government release the Kannada activists immediately," he tweeted.

Kumaraswamy urged Chief Minister Yediyurappa to withdraw cases filed against Kannada activists. Yediyurappa made it clear that some action was taken to maintain law and order.

"Government does not intend to target pro-Kannada activists...I have equal concern for Kannada and Kannadigas as well as for farmers. The well-being of the people of the state is my motto," he added. 

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