Both the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his deputy Dr Parameswaran have skipped the controversial Tipu jayanti celebrations. While Kumaraswamy cited medical reasons, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who was to inaugurate the main event at Vidhana Soudha, the seat of state legislature here, in the absence of Kumaraswamy, also skipped the function. Parameshwara did not attend the event as he was out of town, according to his office sources , but didn’t divulge any details.
The BJP had appealed to the government to drop the celebrations after the JDS-Congress coalition government announced that Tipu Jayanti would be observed on November 10 in continuation of the previous Congress government’s policy. Demonstrations and protests broke out in Madikeri in Karnataka early on Saturday even before the government-sponsored celebrations for the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th-century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom Tipu Sultan began.
Security has been tightened in the area in the wake of a shutdown called by various groups, including the BJP and Codava National Council. Several people have also been detained.
BJP MLA and former assembly speaker K G Bopaiah was detained in Virajpet during the protest, police said. In Mangaluru, some protesters tried to barge into the zilla panchayat office with black flags where the event was being organised. The protestors were later detained by police. In Yellapura of Uttara Kannada district too, there were reports of detaining protesters. Similar protests were reported from Chikkamagaluru, Ballari, Karwar and various parts of the state. Police have clamped prohibitory orders in most of the districts in the state as a precautionary measure.
While Tipu Sultan is considered a freedom fighter by the state government, he is considered a “religious bigot” by the BJP and its affiliates. The Tipu Jayanti celebrations, which began in 2014 under the Congress government, have been marked by protests and court cases every year.