The Karnataka government will observe the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler, Tipu Sultan, on Friday amid protests by the right wing groups which see him as a 'religious bigot’. The state government has beefed up security to prevent any untoward incident.
Karnataka Police has deployed more than 11,000 security personnel in Bengaluru. Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said, "We are not giving permission to any procession, whether it is in favour of Tipu Jayanti or against it. The government itself is celebrating the event in various parts of the city for which we have made elaborate arrangements."
The practice of celebrating the erstwhile Mysore King’s birth anniversary, began two years ago. The state witnessed riots and the death of a Kodagu resident in the first year of these celebrations.
Tipu Sultan is also viewed in a negative light in Kodagu district where he is alleged to have persecuted the local Kodava population, as also the Roman Catholics of Mangaluru, on religious grounds and forced conversion to Islam.
The controversy was further spurted when the President Ram Nath Kovind hailed Tipu Sultan, saying he died a heroic death fighting the British, remarks that came in the backdrop of protests by the BJP in Karnataka against the glorification of the 18th century Mysore ruler.
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.