Security has been tightened across Karnataka on Friday to ensure peaceful celebration of the state-sponsored Tipu Sultan Jayanti in honour of the erstwhile Mysore ruler amid protests by the right-wing opposition. Additional forces, including the paramilitary troopers have been deployed in Bengaluru, Kodagu, Mandya, Mysuru and Mangaluru across the southern region to prevent untoward incidents and disruption of normal life. The Bharatiya Janata Party and various right-wing organisation are against the festival. “Vigil has been stepped up across the state to maintain law and order and ensure peace for the Tipu festival. Processions and protest rallies against the Jayanti (fest) have been banned.
“Liquor sale also banned for the day,” Additional Director General of Police Kamal Pant told reporters. “About 200 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserved Police (KSRP), City Armed Police and City Armed Forces (CAR) and 6,000 Home Guards have been deployed in sensitive areas till Saturday morning,” Pant said. The ruling Congress began celebrating the birth anniversary of the 18th century Mysore ruler on November 10 since 2015 to honour him as a patriot and remember his yeoman service to the people in the region. Eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali, Tipu (1750-1799) is also hailed as the “Tiger of Mysore” for fighting against the British East India Company to protect and enlarge his kingdom.
Tipu was killed in a battle with the British Army in 1799 while defending his fort at Srirangapatnam near Mysore, about 120km from Bengaluru. Tipu’s 267th birth anniversary is also being celebrated with special functions at his birth place in Devanahalli village on Bengaluru outskirts and in cities and towns that were part of his kingdom in the Deccan region. In the state capital, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will inaugurate the event titled “Hazarath Tipu Sultan Jayanthi” at 6.30 p.m. at Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat, in the presence of dignitaries and invitees.
To prevent a repeat of violent protests that claimed one life in 2015, the police imposed a ban order under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at Madikeri town in Kodagu district, about 270km from here. “The ban restricts assembling of more than five persons and maintain law and order in the specific area. We will impose the ban as a precautionary measure at other places if required to ensure peace,” Pant said. About 200 activists of the BJP, VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and Bajrang Dal were detained at Madikeri for defying the ban in the hill town.