BENGALURU/MYSURU: As more than 55,000 policemen spread across the state to ensure that the situation does not go out of hand during the controversial Tipu Jayanti celebrations on Friday, the ruling Congress deified Tipu Sultan even as leaders of the principal Opposition, BJP, poured scorn about the "treacherous tyrant."
In Bengaluru, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah described the Mysore ruler as a great nationalist and freedom fighter even as BJP members of BBMP Council protested against the celebrations. One incident of stone-throwing on a car was dismissed as one without any link to opposition to the celebrations. In Kodagu, despite a bandh called by an organisation opposing the celebrations, the district administration went ahead with the event, amidst tight security. Except for a KSRTC bus being stoned near Gaalibeedu Kaalooru division, and some roads blocked by agitators near Kadagadaalu, Chettalli, the bandh called by the Tipu Jayanthi Horata Samithi was largely peaceful.
BJP MLA, Appachchu Ranjan and MLC, Sunil Subramani, who held a black flag demonstration outside the venue of the Tipu Jayanti celebrations of the district administration, were arrested as were around 100 other BJP leaders, who staged a protest in Madikeri including MLA K G Bopaiah and 29 other BJP leaders, who protested against the celebration in Virajpet and 40 BJP leaders, who came out in protest in Somwarpet. Those arrested reportedly damaged the seats of the police vans in which they were ferried before they were released. "Barring some stray incidents the bandh was largely peaceful," said ADGP Bhaskar Rao.
The odd-man-out for the state government was fisheries and youth services minister Pramod Madhvaraj who skipped the celebrations in Udupi. Elsewhere, ministers in-charge of respective districts inaugurated the celebrations.