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Kannada signboard row: Siddaramaiah warns stern action against vandalisers

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Bengaluru: Amidst vandalism carried out by pro-Kannada activists over name boards inscribed in English letters, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said strict action will be taken against those who indulge in violence.

“We are not opposed to anyone holding protests but legal action will be taken against those who take the law into their own hands,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Siddaramaiah said he will hold a meeting with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and police officers today in this regard.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said everyone in a democracy has the right to protest, but the government cannot tolerate anyone taking the law into their hands.

“I am disturbed that they (pro-Kannada agitators) vandalised boards and establishments,” he said.

The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) said it will obey the BBMP orders to inscribe 60 percent Kannada letters on nameplates for commercial establishments, but urged the government not to initiate any action under the rule until the deadline of February 28 next year.

“We also appeal to the government to see to it that no trade and commercial establishments are harassed,” FKCCI President Ramesh Chandra Lahoti said.

The city police yesterday detained pro-Kannada activists who vandalised the name boards inscribed with English letters and damaged government and private properties.

The Karnataka Rakshana Vedike also indulged in violence outside the Mall of Asia in Bengaluru and sprayed black ink on them.

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