Days after the police removed saffron flags from public places in Vijayanagar market following five complaints from activists and residents, the flags reportedly reappeared on Thursday.
On May 18, workers of a right-wing organisation had allegedly hoisted saffron flags on shops run by Hindus to demarcate them from others. Members of the organisation, led by one M. L. Shivakumar Gowda, put a live video on social media, following which several complaints were lodged at Vijayanagar police station, but no case has been registered to date.
“On Thursday evening, a group of around 30 people came into the market, and started tying saffron flags to shops and push carts run by Hindus. This time, they had brought a paper which declared the shopkeeper had agreed to put up the flag voluntarily. The shopkeepers were intimidated and signed the form. I was not there but the boy who was at the pushcart signed the form,” said a street vendor, who did not wish to be named.
Vinay Sreenivasa, of Federation of Bengaluru District Street Vendors Associations, said it was a blatant attempt to create communal divisions where there are none. “Despite several complaints, police did not act,” he alleged.
A senior police official said they will look into the issue.