Kannadiga chauvinists damage railway computers in Karnataka


Bangalore : Kannadiga chauvinists protesting Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s allegedly disparaging remarks Thursday damaged computers and other office equipment at Cantonment Railway station here, forcing authorities to suspend computerised reservation facility indefinitely.

Support TwoCircles

“The Computerised Reservation is temporarily closed down from today at Bangalore Cantonment Railway station till the restoration work is completed,” the South Western Railway said in a statement Thursday evening.

It said a group of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (Karnataka Protection Forum) demonstrators damaged the reservation counters and injured staff at the computerised reservation office.

The Vedike members are agitated as Lalu Prasad reportedly described as “dirty peoples” (sic) those protesting large-scale recruitment of non-Kannadigas in Railways ‘D’ group jobs in Karnataka.

The Railway minister made the remark on Tuesday during his brief visit to the state to flag off a train in Bangalore and to attend a meeting of Yadavs, a community he belongs to, in Chitradurga, 200 km from here.

Last month the Railways were forced to cancel the recruitment process in Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli as Vedike members stormed the centres alleging that majority of those appearing for the test were non-Kannadigas, particularly people from Bihar, the state from where Lalu Prasad hails.

“They are dirty peoples,” Lalu Prasad reacted when reporters at Chitradurga asked for his comment on the protests.

On Wednesday the Vedike activists attacked the Railway office at the Bangalore City Railway station but there was not much damage.

Railway authorities here have tried in vain to cool down tempers by issuing a statement clarifying that Lalu Prasad’s ‘dirty peoples’ remark referred only to those protesting against recruitment on the basis of region and language and not those fighting for the interests of Karnataka.