NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist was killed and three others were injured as protests against birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, the erstwhile ruler of Mysuru, turned violent on Tuesday in Kodagu.
VHP’s Kodagu organising secretary was injured during stone pelting between two groups.
The local leader was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
While the Congress-led Karnataka government had announced to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary, the BJP had threatened to disrupt any such event in the state as the party regards Tipu as “anti-national”.
The government had invited BJP leaders to attend the celebrations, but they announced a public boycott of the event.
According to the BJP, Tipu committed atrocities on Hindus, a statement often contested by the historians.
“It is unfortunate that the Karnataka government is celebrating the birth anniversary of a controversial person, as a state-sponsored programme,” said BJP’s Karnataka unit president Prahlad Joshi.
“It’s a total boycott on our part, no public representative from our party at any level should participate in the official function,” he added.
Describing Tipu Sultan as a “fanatic” and “anti-Kannada”, he said, “We have 44 legislators, and it is a practice that wherever such events are organised local legislator presides over it.
We have instructed our legislators that they should not preside over this event, they should not go on the dais.”
“As the party state president, I’m giving this instruction to all our party public representatives through the media. We will also be sending this instruction through all our district presidents and zonal office bearers,” Joshi added.
Defending his government’s decision to organise ‘Tipu Jayanti’, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said RSS and “other communal forces” were opposing it.
“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 said.
Tipu was a ruler of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore, who was considered an implacable enemy of the British East India Company.
He was killed in May 1799 while defending his fort of Srirangapatna against the British forces.