Security has been beefed up in Kodagu district of Karnataka as Hindu organisations have organised a programme in memory of K.M. Kuttappa, organising secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) who died during Tipu Jayanti related violence six years ago in 2015.
The district administration has beefed up security in the entire district to avoid any untoward incident during the programme. The contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and District Armed Reserve Police (DARF) have been conducting a flag march on the arterial roads of Madikeri city and sensitive areas since Tuesday evening.
In 2015, violence had erupted in Kodagu, when Hindu organisations had given a call to observe bandh opposing the then state government’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti in memory of Tipu Sultan, an 18th century ruler of erstwhile Mysuru state who sacrificed his life fighting against the British.
However, Sangh Parivar opposed celebrations of Tipu Jayanti by calling him a religious bigot who indulged in large-scale conversions of Hindus to Islam in Karnataka and Kerala. The decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti was taken by the then Siddaramaiah-led Congress government and had led to widespread debate and unrest in the state. The issue also divided the society on communal lines.
The Hindu organisations had called for a bandh and the BJP had boycotted the Tipu celebrations. Kuttappa, had died in the incident that followed violence while observing bandh on November 10, 2015 in Madikeri. The police later claimed that Kuttappa had died while jumping a compound wall in the melee after investigation. Meanwhile, rumours spread about a mob lynching him for participating in bandh against Tipu Jayanti which had led to further violence.
Former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa government banned the celebrations of Tipu Jayanti after assuming power.
In view of Wednesday’s programme call, the state police department is watchful and vigilant on law and order situation in the state.