Karnataka: As the Congress government in Karnataka went ahead with 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary celebrations today, protests erupted at many places in the state.
Tipu Sultan died in 1799, but it was only in 2015 that the state government decided to officially celebrate his birthday while describing him as one of the earliest freedom fighters. However, the decision met with resistance from the right wing which sees him as a bigoted tyrant who forcefully converted thousands and killed thousands.
This year, too, the BJP and their sympathisers protested against the celebrations.
In Madikeri, the district headquarters of Kodagu in Karnataka, protestors stoned a bus as part of their agitation against the celebrations of Tipu Jayanti. They were taken into protective custody. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Kodagu district, which historically was at odds with Tipu. It is said he killed thousands of people there. Kodagu saw the worst of protests in 2015. Extra security has been deployed here this time.
Richard D’Souza, District Collector, Madikeri confirmed that the three state government functions in Kodagu went off peacefully. In Madikeri, elected BJP representatives did try to go on the stage to disrupt proceedings but they were removed from the location.
Schools in rural Kodagu functioned normally but some schools in Madikeri remained shut as some school buses remained off the roads.
The SP of Kodagu, Rajendra Prasad, said that apart from stone pelting, the situation remained under control. He said besides 1,500 policemen, personnel from the Home Guard and the KSRP were also on duty. 200 CCTV cameras are in place to catch hold miscreants.
In Bengaluru, police commissioner T Suneel Kumar had said no processions would be allowed either for or against Tipu Jayanti today. He said, “The government is celebrating Tipu Jayanti in various parts of Bangalore and we have made elaborate security arrangements. About 11,000 policemen will be on this job.”