Protests in Karnataka as Government Marks Tipu Sultan's Birth Anniversary

Protests in Karnataka as Government Marks Tipu Sultan's Birth Anniversary
10/November/2015

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    Protests in Karnataka as Government Marks Tipu Sultan's Birth Anniversary

    Protests against Tipu Sultan Jayanti took a violent turn on Tuesday after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist, DS Kuttappa, was allegedly murdered on Tuesday, during clashes that erupted in Madikeri, Karnataka.
    According to police, the VHP leader and a former state government employee, suffered head injuries in stone throwing and died on the spot.

    A local VHP leader died and several others, including policemen, were injured as violence erupted over the holding of the birth anniversary celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.
    A youth was also injured in firing by some unidentified persons near here, police said, adding that prohibitory orders have been clamped in the entire Kodagu district and additional reinforcements sent to the area to bring the situation under control.
    Police used tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge as hundreds of people gathered here and clashes erupted between the opponents and supporters of the celebrations.
    The violence flared up even as statewide celebrations are being held by the government for the first time to commemorate the birth anniversary of Tipu which, however, is being boycotted by BJP amidst opposition by several outfits who see him as a "religious bigot".
    "The clashes erupted after a Muslim group that was taking out a procession to mark the Karnataka government’s Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebration through Madikeri town came face to face with Hindutva activists protesting against the celebration of the birth anniversary in the middle of the town."
    BJP has accused CM Siddaramaiah of trying to appease the minorities with the celebrations and has also opposed the setting up of a university named after the ruler,
    “We’ll hold protests across the state till 10 November,” VHP state secretary TAP Shenoy said in a statement, reported . “We are deploying Bajrang Dal cadres to educate people on how this government is spending the taxpayer’s money to honour a ruler who tormented Hindus.”
    Protests during Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary celebrations in Madikeri
    Meanwhile, Home Minister G Parameshwara said additional reinforcements were being rushed to Madikeri from Chamarajanagar and Mysuru districts and appealed to people to maintain peace.
    BJP has announced a "total boycott" of the celebrations, saying that no public representative from their party at any level would participate in the official function. Further, the party's state unit chief Prahlad Joshi said that Tipu was a "fanatic" and "anti-Kannada". Several organisations and individuals, too, have opposed the state government's move to celebrate 'Tipu Sultan Jayanti' on November 10.
    Tipu was a ruler of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore and considered an implacable enemy of the British East India
    Company. He was killed in May, 1799, while defending his fort of Srirangapatna against British forces.
    Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has defended the government's decision to commemorate his birth anniversary even as he slammed RSS and "other communal forces" for opposing it.
    Mangaluru United Christian Association, too, has protested against the celebrations, alleging that Tipu was responsible for the destruction of many churches in the coastal region and also that Christians were harassed under his rule.
    The VHP had earlier called for a bandh in the state on Tuesday,
    In September, reacting strongly to media reports that Rajinikanth may star in a biopic on Tipu Sultan, leaders of various parties BJP, Hindu Munnani, and the Hindu Makkal Katchi held a protest and warned the actor against accepting the offer.

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