Protest was against poem written by a senior executive that allegedly made fun of Kannada
Action taken against employee who recited poem
Assessment of loss yet to be made
BANGALORE: Activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike on Monday barged into Sasken Communication Technologies office off Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road and caused extensive damage to computers and furniture, besides attacking the server room of the company.
The police said that the attack was in protest against a poem written by a senior executive that allegedly made fun of the Kannada language and was reportedly circulated among non-Kannada employees. Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) B.K. Singh told The Hindu that a private Kannada television channel aired reports about the “anti-Kannada” poem being recited in the office.
Subsequently around noon, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists laid siege to the company and ransacked the office. On learning about the incident, the police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. On a complaint by the company officials, the Ulsoor Police have registered a case. No one has been arrested so far, Mr. Singh said.
The private security guards deployed at the place could not stop the vedike activists from barging into the office.
After the company was ransacked, activists from another faction of the vedike went there and staged a demonstration. While there were reports that the vedike activists ransacked another office of the same company situated on Hosur Road, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Soumendu Mukherjee said no such incident had taken place.
Condemning the incident, the management of Sasken said it was in no way associated with the acts of misconduct of individuals. Swami Krishnan, Chief Marketing Officer and the authorised spokesperson of the company, said prompt disciplinary action had been taken against the employee who recited the poem written by an executive of Sasken’s client from Canada. Mr. Krishnan said the company had asked its client to take action against the executive, who hurt sentiments of many people.
Mr. Krishnan said the company respected Karnataka, where it has been working for the past two decades. The company was proud to be a part of the State and did not support any activity that was against the interests and sentiments of the State. “We once again apologise for the incident that has hurt the sentiments of the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, employees of Sasken also lodged their protest over the poem by refusing to work in the afternoon. “We allowed them to leave,” a company official said. Two boards were displayed on the gates of the company expressing their displeasure.
Mr. Krishnan said the activists had damaged some of the equipment on the third floor of the company’s research wing. “We are yet to assess the loss,” he said.
This the second instance of vedike activists ransacking offices. In February, activists ransacked the office of the Divisional Railway Manager protesting against absence of reservation for Kannadigas in the recruitment of Group ‘D’ employees.