Kodagu bandh total; many arrested

Madikeri/Kushalnagar : Protests broke out in Madikeri, Virajpet and Kushalnagar early this morning even before the Government-sponsored celebrations for the birth anniversary of the controversial 18th-century ruler of erstwhile Mysore kingdom Tipu Sultan began.

Security has been tightened in the district in the wake of a shutdown called by various groups.

Several people have also been detained. Various Hindu outfits called for a bandh in Kodagu to protest against Tipu Jayanti. Around 2,000 Police personnel have been deployed in Kodagu alone.

Most roads of Somwarpet, Virajpet and Madikeri Taluks wore a deserted look and shops downed their shutters. “No autos or taxis are plying on the roads either. A few State transport buses are plying but private buses, used by most people, are not operational. There is no transportation of goods either,” a senior official with the District Administration said.

A few KSRTC buses to outside destinations like Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hassan ran as usual. However, KSRTC buses did not operate services within the district. All government offices, post offices, commercial establishments, shops remained closed.

BAN ORDERS

Section 144 has been imposed in Kodagu which prohibits the assembly of more than 4 people in one area. The bandh is being observed from 6 am to 6 pm by Tipu Virodhi Horata Samithi. “All businesses have shut operations for the day, including coffee estates. The auto and lorry unions are also with us. Only some vehicles are moving to attend the Tipu Jayanti celebrations,” the Samithi President Abhimanyu Kumar said.

MLAS, MLC ARRESTED

At the official celebrations organised by the District Administration at Fort Hall (Kote Sabhangana), BJP MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan and MLC Sunil Subramani shouted slogans against the celebrations and prevented speakers from addressing the gathering.

They said that when CM Kumaraswamy, his deputy Dr. G. Parameshwara stayed away from the official events in Bengaluru and when Kodagu District Minister S.R. Mahesh staying away from the celebrations in Kodagu, what was the need to celebrate the Jayanti. “The government itself has violated protocol,” they said. Both the MLA and the MLC were arrested by the Police and were led out of the Hall. The official event got over in 30 minutes.

In Virajpet, at an event organised at Town Panchayat, MLA K.G. Bopaiah shouted slogans that led to the Police arresting him along with 21 others. Prior to his arrest, Bopaiah claimed that Tipu Sultan was “cruel” and a “fundamentalist”, adding that those who organised Tipu Jayanti “would never develop”. He also said that the BJP is not opposing Muslims, but is opposing a cruel king’s celebrations.

KUTTAPPA HUTATMA DAY

In Madikeri, The Tipu Virodhi Horata Samithi observed the day as Kuttappa Hutatma Day instead. Kuttappa died in 2015 when clashes erupted on Tipu Jayanti. The performed puja at Sri Omkareshwar temple in the memory of Kuttappa and were ready to take out a procession. However, the Police prevented the procession and bundled the activists into Police vehicles.  

In Kushalnagar, Sangh Parivar workers staged a protest at a Ganapathi Temple and raised slogans such as ‘Kuttappa Amar Rahe’. Over 25 persons were arrested by the Police while they were attempting to take out processions.

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