Signages in Hindi in at least two of the metro stations in the city have been masked, following the protest by pro-Kannada activists and social media users against “imposition” of the language. The signages at Nadaprabhu Kempegowda station at Majestic and Chickpete stations earlier had wordings in Kannada, English and Hindi, but since last evening Hindi wordings have been masked. Though Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) officials have not made any official statement regarding the incident, sources said it was done by Metro officials following a tip off that some groups were planning to vandalise or blacken the sigages as the mark of protest.
Amidst reports that the masking of Hindi wordings were done following the police advice, senior police officials denied it. However, additional forces have been deployed at few “sensitive” metro stations, following the recent developments, they said. The protest against the “imposition” of Hindi in Bangalore metro triggered by online campaign “#NammaMetroHindiBeda” has been gaining momentum in the last couple of weeks.
Recently Kannada Development Authority (KDA) had also issued a notice to BMRCL on the issue. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also during his recent visit to Delhi had reportedly said that he would lodge a protest with the Centre on imposition of Hindi.