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    Pro-Kannada protests force closure of two Bengaluru malls: Report | Bengaluru

    Pro-Kannada protests force closure of two Bengaluru malls: Report | Bengaluru


    Two of Bengaluru’s biggest malls — Phoenix Mall of Asia in Hebbal and Phoenix Marketcity in Whitefield — had to be shut down on Wednesday evening, as pro-Kannada group Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) protested demanding Kannada signboards, The News Minute reported.

    KRV State President T N Narayan Gowda alleged that Mall of Asia (Bengaluru) has not put a Kannada nameplate. (File)(X/@DrBhaskarRaj)
    KRV State President T N Narayan Gowda alleged that Mall of Asia (Bengaluru) has not put a Kannada nameplate. (File)(X/@DrBhaskarRaj)

    KRV State President T N Narayan Gowda alleged that Mall of Asia (Bengaluru) had not put a Kannada nameplate. “We told them to put a Kannada nameplate but Mall of Asia (Bangalore) did not bother and has not put a Kannada nameplate so we will fight against this. Today police are providing full protection to the Mall of Asia (Bengaluru), but tomorrow who will provide protection? Tomorrow again our activists will protest, till our demand is fulfilled,” he said.

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    The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) led a massive “awareness march” on Wednesday in Bengaluru, demanding that all businesses and enterprises in Karnataka display nameplates predominantly in Kannada, aligning with the state government’s mandate that 60 percent of the nameplate content should be in Kannada. This public awareness demonstration was orchestrated under the leadership of T A Narayan Gowda, the State President of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike.

    Protests over Kannada name boards

    Protesters marched through various sections of the city, particularly in its business hotspots like MG Road, Brigade Road, Lavelle Road, UB City, Chamarajapet, Chickpet, Kempe Gowda Road, Gandhi Nagar, St Marks Road, Cunningham Road, Residency Road, and Sadahalli Gate near Devanahalli. They alleged “undermining the official language of Karnataka, which is Kannada.” Activists from the KRV targeted malls, stores, office buildings, corporations, and factories – particularly multinational firms – vandalising and altering non-Kannada signboards and nameplates.

    KRV activists damaged shop boards displaying English nameplates. They also smashed flower pots outside Bangalore’s Mall of Asia, vandalised English signboards, and sprayed them with black ink.

    KRV State President T N Narayan Gowda said, “People from various states are doing business in Bangalore. But they don’t put Kannada nameplates on their shops. They are only putting up the nameplates of their shops in English. If they want to stay back in Bangalore then they have to put nameplates on their shops in Kannada or else they have to move from Karnataka to other states.”

    He said that there is a Karnataka government law that 60 per cent of the nameplate should be in Kannada.

    “No one is following it properly, so today we are doing a massive awareness protest rally. If the police stop us today, our struggle will not stop. We will continue the rally every day till our demands are met,” he added.

    The rally was held from NadaPrabhu Kempegowda International Airport Toll (Sadarahalli Gate) to Cubbon Park.

    Earlier, Tushar Giri Nath, chief commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), emphasised the requirement for commercial stores under the administrative body to have 60 per cent Kannada language nameplates installed by February 28. Failure to comply could result in legal consequences.

    During a meeting at Malleswaram IPP hall with the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike about enforcing the use of Kannada in the nameplates of various commercial shops within the corporation’s jurisdiction, he mentioned plans for a meeting with all zonal commissioners. The aim is to discuss and issue directives regarding the mandatory inclusion of Kannada on these nameplates.

    (With inputs from agencies)



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