BENGALURU: Celebrations of Tipu Jayanti on Friday were marred by arrests and detentions, rallies and counter rallies across the state. Though the police had denied permission to agitators to hold any pro or counter rallies, it did not stop groups from promoting their stand on the streets. This led to many arrests across the state including more than 292 arrests in Kodagu alone, though everyone was released later.
Heavy police presence marked all the venues celebrating the event and amidst tight police security across the state. While most district administrations held the event in the morning, Bengaluru celebrated it at an event in Vidhana Soudha in the evening. The programme in Bengaluru was pushed towards evening, in view of the prayers that Muslims have to offer on Friday. Police detained many anti-social elements in the city and security has been beefed up in sensitive places like Shivaji Nagar, Frazer town, Chickpet and Cottonpet.
In Mangaluru, police allowed the public to attend the programme only after thoroughly inspecting their ID cards and bags. Meanwhile, police detained BJP Minority Morcha leader Franklin Montero, when he attempted to enter the premises. Though he claimed that he was attending the event as a common citizen, police detained him as a precautionary measure.
In Kalaburagi, police arrested about 20 activists of VHP and BJP when they tried to take out a procession against the celebrations. Police arrested as many as 62 BJP workers in Hubballi when they tried to disrupt the programme. Barring members of the Muslim community, no other public were allowed inside and even officials and staff were allowed to enter only after showing their identity cards.
In Ballari, causing further embarrassment to BJP were its district unit members who observed Tipu Jayanti in their office premises at Kowl Bazaar. In an event, Govindarajulu, a close aide of BJP’s Ballari MP Sriramulu, garlanded the picture of Tipu Sultan and described him as a patriot. Furthermore Vijayanagara MLA Anand Singh surprised everyone by participating in the government function in his constituency.
Not taking his act too kindly, Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar said, “Action will be taken against the MLA, who has been given a notice.”
Chief guest protests on dais
Kodagu where opposition to the celebrations have always been high, experienced much unrest this year too, with several people detained for protesting the celebrations. In Virajpet, MLA K G Bopaiah who was the chief guest at the official programme, staged a protest on the dais itself and called Tipu a tyrant. He was detained along with his followers and later released. In Madikeri, Sangh parivar workers celebrated Kuttappa Jayanti. Kuttappa was a VHP leader who was killed two years earlier in Madikeri during protests against Tipu Jayanti.
Not all BJP leaders anti-Tipu
The BJP was left red-faced when its Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy’s supporters put up flex banners wishing people on Tipu Jayanti. However, Reddy said that it has been put without his notice.