BENGALURU/MYSURU: The state government pulled out all the stops and scaled up security for Tipu Jayanti celebrations with Kodagu turning into a near fortress on Friday even as several senior BJP leaders announced state-wide protests against the move to celebrate the birth anniversary of the 18th century ruler on Saturday.
The government was upbeat about celebrations on Saturday after the high court declined to issue an interim order staying these celebrations in Kodagu and other neighboring districts. The city also witnessed protests in various parts of the state on Friday but they were subdued.
The government, however, decided not to allow protests or celebrations on the streets or open places but only inside an auditorium or a stadium where scores of armed personnel would stand guard and thus prevent the situation from slipping out of control. Official sources said Kodagu, which witnessed violent protests three years ago, has been sealed off with the police stepping up security even as private bus owners and auto drivers' associations have extended their support for the bandh called by the Tipu Jayanti Aacharane Virodi Samithi in protest.
Superintendent of Police, Kodagu, Dr Suman D Pennekar said that as many as 75 vehicles would be deployed for 24/7 patrolling in the district and additional forces brought in to make sure the celebrations passed off peacefully.
Vehicles are being screened at all 10 inter-state and inter-district check-posts equipped with 40 CCTV cameras near roads connecting Kodagu with Kannur, Wayanad, Kasaragod, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan and Mysuru districts. And a special team has been formed to gather intelligence on likely troublemakers in Kodagu even as peace meets arebeing held between different communities ahead of the celebrations.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 and 144 (a) of the CrPC and section 35 of the Karnataka Police Act have been imposed from 6pm on Friday to 6pm on
Sunday in the district. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Srirangpatna and rural police station limits, Mandya town, Bellur, Nagamangala, Maddur, Pandavapura and KRPet in Mandya district and in Chamarajnagar.