BENGALURU: Bowing to threats from Kannada activists, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) blocked out Hindi from signboards at Kempegowda and Chickpet Metro stations. The knee-jerk reaction from Metro took place on Saturday evening. Of the two entries presently open at Kempegowda Metro station, the name of the station in Hindi printed on a signboard outside the south entry (opposite Shantala Silks) vanished out of trace. “All the words are printed using stickers and we peeled off the Hindi portion. However, the Metro subway across has all the words embossed in metal.
So we were forced to conceal the Hindi words using brown tape as a temporary measure,” said a Metro official. At the west entry of the Metro station (opposite the City railway station), the signboard did not have Hindi words on it. At Chickpet Metro station, Hindi words were camouflaged with the help of thermocol and brown tape on Saturday.
An official source said that platoons of policemen had visited the Kempegowda Metro station on Saturday evening and warned officials that Kannada activists were planning to use black paint on the signboards to hide the Hindi words. “They suggested that we take quick action to avert major chaos. So the staff at Kempegowda station took the help of homeguards to hide the Hindi words,” the source said. They also alerted Metro officials at Chickpet and asked them to do the same.
However, a senior police official denied that police had suggested any such action to Metro officials. “When we reached Kempegowda Metro station, the Hindi words were already plastered over.”
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had recently said the state would protest against the imposition of Hindi on Namma Metro as it was not a Central government project. Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Kannada Rakshana Vedike, which was at the forefront of the campaign claimed success for its efforts. The Kannada Development Authority too issued a notice to BMRCL regarding the use of Hindi on signboards.