Bengaluru: Tipu celebrations; VHP continues protests

Bengaluru, Nov 13, 2015, PTI: In Bengaluru, the protest was held in front of the Town Hall in the heart of the city where VHP activists vented their anger at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah whose government decided to celerbrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary from this year. The celebration was held on November 10.

Vishwa Hindu Parisahad today blocked roads across Karnataka protesting against the state government observing the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan and over the death of its functionary in violence during the celebrations in Madikeri.

VHP and Bajrang Dal activists blocked roads during the hour-long protest in various parts of the state including Mysuru, Mangaluru, Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Shivamogga and Hassan with undeclared bandh in some cities, police said.

In Bengaluru, the protest was held in front of the Town Hall in the heart of the city where VHP activists vented their anger at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah whose government decided to celerbrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary from this year. The celebration was held on November 10.

As the controversy persisted, two men were stabbed, one fatally, near Mangaluru late last night after a meeting organised by Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) supporting the celebrations turned violent. Police, however, did not link the stabbing incidents to the Tipu controversy.

Harish, aged 28, was stabbed to death at Vagga Halegate, Bantwal Taluk, 25 k.m away from Mangaluru, by unidentified men, who came in a car, when he was on his way home. His friend Samiulla, who was with him, was also stabbed. He had been hospitalised in Mangaluru, police said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been clamped in Dakshina Kannada district for three days after VHP and Bajrang Dal called a bandh today in protest against the Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations.

The bandh call was given late last night after the stabbing incident. The two Hindutva outfits had earlier decided to stage protests against the death of VHP leader Kuttappa in Madikeri in Kodagu district on November 10.

Mangaluru wore a deserted look today as the bandh call received a total response. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses and private vehicles were off the roads and all shops and business establishments remained closed.

Police said stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts of Mangaluru today. Four parked buses were stoned by miscreants in Pumpwell area.

Madikeri was rocked by violence over the celebrations during which 60-year-old VHP activist Kuttappa died with the circumstances of his death not being clear. A youth who had received bullet wounds had also died.

Supporting VHP’s protest, BJP leader and Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Assembly R Ashoka said Siddaramaiah and his government have to take responsibility for “disturbing” communal harmony in the state.

He accused the government of purposefully selecting Deepavali day to celebrate Tipu jayanti to hurt Hindu feelings. “Siddaramaiah is playing vote bank politics; ….he follows an anti-Hindu culture,” he charged.

Karnataka government has ordered an inquiry into the death of two persons during the Madikeri violence.

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