Saffron Flags Reappear at Bengaluru Market, Days After Removal
Bengaluru activists claimed that saffron flags had again appeared in Vijayanagar market, days after being removed
Days after the Vijayanagar police registered a non-cognizable report against alleged members of right-wing organisations for raising saffron flags in the local market, activists claimed that the flags were being put up once again on Thursday, 28 May.
“After our complaints, flags were removed but no action (was taken) against anyone in Vijayanagar. Now, they are again tying flags by force,” said advocate Vinay Sreenivasa, member of the Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta, a street vendor association. No FIR has been registered in the case as yet.
According to Sreenivasa, a group of 30 men reportedly went shop to shop tying the flags, and in some cases, making people sign a declaration, that they had put the flags of their own accord.
Street vendors of the area have maintained that there has never been any religious divide of any kind in the Vijayanagara market community, and that all were existing in harmony.
An area of about 500 metres, called the Vijayanagar market service road, is the one where the flags are being raised.
The Bengaluru police had received at least five complaints against a right-wing Hindu group, pointing to social media posts stating that only shops owned by members of the majority community were being marked.
Two street vendor associations – Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta and Vijayanagar Street Foods and Vegetable Vendors Welfare Association – filed complaints at the Vijayanagar police station against what they described as attempts to communalise the market area. Complaints have also been filed by three other activists and residents of the area.
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