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Protest over Tipu's birth anniversary celebration turns violent

VHP leader killed, several other functionaries injured in Karnataka's Madikeri town

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

Tipu Sultan, VHP, BJP, Clash
Police in action after two groups clashed over Karnataka government's decision to go ahead with Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations, in Kodgu. Photo: PTI


Tensions over the celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti by the Congress government in Karnataka flared up when one Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionary was killed and several others injured during a protest rally in Madikeri in Kodagu district.

The incident happened when various pro-Hindu organisations held protest rallies against the state government's decision to celebrate the birth anniversary of the former king of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom, alleging that he was anti-Hindu.

According to reports, 50-year old VHP functionary D S Kuttappa was grievously injured when stone-pelting started between two groups. He succumbed to injuries at a local hospital. The decision of the state government to celebrate the event had faced strong protests from certain sections.

These people had said Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu who indulged in wide-scale religious conversion and demolition of Hindu shrines. Reports also said several Christian forums, including Mangaluru United Christian Association, alleged that the former Mysore ruler also destroyed churches in the coastal region.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party in the Assembly, has been opposing Tipu’s birth anniversary celebrations. Earlier this week, state BJP president Prahlad Joshi had said the party’s 44 MLAs and office-bearers would not attend Tipu Jayanti functions at government offices.

“Tipu Sultan was a fanatic and anti-Kannada. We oppose the state government's decision to celebrate his birth anniversary, that too during Diwali,” he said. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, had said communal forces have been trying to oppose the birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, a patriot who sacrificed his life fighting against the British.

“Tipu was a patriot; he fought against the British. In a sense, freedom struggle began from three Mysore wars. He lost his life during the battle, and he had even pledged his son to British,” Siddaramaiah had said.

Meanwhile, state Home Minister G Parameshwara said the government has sent extra forces to high tension areas, to contain the situation.

First Published: Wed, November 11 2015. 00:19 IST
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