Won’t allow anyone to go on rampage in Karnataka: Dy CM

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Thursday said the government will not allow anyone to take the law into their own hands in the state in the name of fighting for the Kannada language.

He was reacting to the large-scale vandalism in Bengaluru by the activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Narayana Gowda faction) targeting shops and business establishments that did not have Kannada signboards, advertisements, and nameplates.

”We are not against the pro-Kannada activists but they should not take law into their hands. We are not ready to accept damage caused to the properties in Bengaluru,” Shivakumar told reporters here.

”We have to save Kannada and we respect those who fight for saving Kannada but that should not mean that the government will shut its eyes to vandalism,” he added. The Deputy CM said the government directions are clear that signboards, advertisements, and name plates should have 60 percent Kannada and there is a way to implement it such as issuing notices to those violating this norm. The protesters can stage protests and raise slogans but damaging property is not acceptable, he said.

”We are committed to saving Kannada. Even the CM has directed us to have all the communications and our official business in Kannada. He had said that the government is committed to save Kannada,” Shivakumar told reporters.

To a question that T A Narayana Gowda, KRV convener, has given a warning to the government that it will face the music during the Lok Sabha elections if it does not respect the sentiments of Kannadigas, Shivakumar said let them do whatever they want democratically but vandalism is not accepted.

”Investors have come here from different parts of the world. People are living here to make their livelihood. They should not be threatened,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Magistrate Court in Bengaluru has sent over 29 Kannada activists including Karnataka Rakshana Vedike president TA Narayana Gowda, to 14 days judicial custody till January 10. They were arrested by the police on Wednesday after their protests demanding that 60 percent of nameboards in commercial establishments to be in Kannada turned violent with the destruction of boards that were in English. Police had detained nearly 500 activists of the KRV who went on the rampage across Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka.

Gowda was arrested along with some of his aides in Yelahanka. On Thursday at around 5 AM, he was produced before a Magistrate at his residence in Devanahalli who ordered the judicial custody of the arrested persons.

The police have registered three separate FIRs at the Chikkajala Police Station against Gowda and 28 others under Sections 188, 283, 341, 353 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

The allegations include assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful restraint, mischief, cause danger, obstruction or injury to any person, and disobedience to order duly promulgated by the public servant.

After their detention on Wednesday evening, Gowda and others were kept at the Police Driving and Maintainance School in Yelahanka before being taken for medical examination and produced before the Magistrate. Sources said they will be shifted to the Central Jail at Parappana Agrahara in the city.