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Tipu Jayanti celebration in Karnataka by govt goes trouble ahead of protest by saffron brigade

Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday led protests in Karnataka to oppose the government-sponsored celebrations for the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan.

Kodagu:

Various groups, opposed to the celebrations, took out a procession in Kodagu district’s Madikeri town. Security was tightened as a shutdown was also called in by various organisations, including the BJP and the Codava National Council.

Madikeri became the centre of the protests as BJP workers stormed the Deputy Commissioner’s office protesting against Tipu Jayanti celebrations. They raised slogans against the Karnataka government and the administration.

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Karnataka: Various groups protesting against #TipuJayanti celebrations in Madikeri detained by police.

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9:06 AM – Nov 10, 2018
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“Government is wasting public money in the name of Tipu Jayanti. Tipu is not a warrior, he killed so many Hindus and attacked temples. Why are they glorifying a man like him? This is only vote bank politics. Everyone in Kodagu is opposing the celebrations,” BJP Kodagu District Secretary Sajjal Krishnan told ANI.

The party had also staged demonstrations at several places including Bengaluru, Mysuru and Kodagu, in the state on Friday.

Police said security has been tightened at sensitive places, including Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Kodagu.

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Madikeri: BJP workers raise slogans in the premises of the Deputy Commissioner’s office protesting against #TipuJayanthi celebrations being held there. #Karnataka

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10:32 AM – Nov 10, 2018
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The JDS-Congress coalition government led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, last week, had said Tipu Jayanti would be celebrated on November 10 in continuation of the previous Congress government’s policy, prompting the BJP to announce protests.

However, Kumaraswamy is not scheduled to attend main function in Bengaluru to be inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara.

The Chief Minister’s Office in a statement said on Friday that Kumaraswamy would not take part in any official function for the next three days in view of “doctors’ advice.”

On the advice of doctors, the chief minister will take three days rest till November 11. He will spend time with family on these days and there will be no official engagements on these days, it said.

Minister for Minority Welfare, Haj and Wakf BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan said the chief minister had told officials before hand that he would be away for medical check-up and hence, his name should not be mentioned in the invitation.

Khan met former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his residence in Bengaluru to greet him on the occasion.

An official said the function in Bengaluru would be held at the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the state legislature, as the original venue, in view of representations to the government from Mulsim community leaders.

Parameshwara, who also holds the Home portfolio, had on November 5 announced that the venue had been shifted to Ravindra Kalakshetra here on advice of the police department owing to security reasons.

He had said strict action would be taken against anyone causing riots or disturbing peace.

Tipu Jayanti celebration events should be organised indoors and posters and banners would be allowed there only, he had said, adding that social media posts would also be monitored and action would be taken if they were derogatory.

The previous Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, began celebrating “Tipu Jayanti” on November 10 every year since 2015, amid stiff opposition by the BJP, several Hindu organisations and some individuals.

Widespread protests and violence had marred the celebrations during the first two years.

BJP leaders who took part in the agitation on Friday accused the state government of “hurting” the sentiments of Hindus only to appease Muslims. They said Tipu was accused of killing thousands of people in Kodagu and Mandyam Iyengars of Melukote near Mysuru.

Tipu was a tyrant and a religious fanatic. Those who tried to exalt him suffered huge losses, BJP MP Pratap Simha claimed.

The BJP also took a dig at Kumaraswamy’s absence in the event.

Party spokesperson S Prakash quipped that the chief minister was avoiding taking part in Tipu Jayanti.

Tipu was a ruler of Mysore and considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company.

He was killed in May 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatna against the British forces.

While BJP and some Hindu outfits see Tipu as a “religious bigot” and a “brutal killer”, some Kannada outfits call him anti-Kannada, saying that he had promoted Persian at the cost of the local language.