Supporting the cause of Kannada and the right to promote the local language, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Praveen Sood on Saturday however warned pro-Kannada activists against violating the law while opposing use of Hindi on signboards in the city.
“Importance to Kannada should be given, as it is the official or state language but protests against the use of Hindi on sign boards in the city should be peaceful and not violent,” Sood said.
His warning to the Kannada Rakshana Vedike (Kannada Protection Forum) activists came two days after they defaced Hindi sign boards at a dozen metro rail stations and threatened shops and private offices to use Kannada on their sign boards.
Acknowledging that pro-Kannada cultural and social organisations had right to promote the native language and encourage others to learn it, Sood said legal action would be taken against anyone violating the law and order or causing damage to private or public property.
“I support Kannada. Karnataka is my ‘karmabhoomi’ (place of action) though not my ‘janmabhoomi’ (birth place). I support the cause, but the protest against any other language should be within the legal framework,” he said.
City police booked cases against 36 KRV activists and arrested about 20 of them under Section 153 of the IPC for blackening Hindi sign boards at the metro stations on Thursday.