Ahead of the Tipu Jayanthi celebrations in Karnataka, the Mandya police will place prohibitory orders in Srirangapatna, the erstwhile capital of the Mysuru from where Tipu Sultan once ruled, from Friday evening. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code will take effect in Srirangapatna, Kodagu and Chitradurga from 6 pm on Friday and continue till 6 am on Sunday.
“To avoid any untoward incident, Prohibitory Orders have been clamped. Processions, display of flags, raising of slogans, etc have been banned, as a large number of people are expected to arrive at Srirangapatna for the celebrations", Mandya Superintendent of Police Shivaprakash Devaraj told Deccan Herald. The celebrations of Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary on November 10 has been opposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has accused the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government of conducting the celebrations to appease the Muslim community.
The historical fort town of Srirangapatna has many monuments related to Tipu Sultan, including the tombs of Tipu and his family. In the last three years, the celebrations were held at Gumbaz in the town but murmurs of holding the celebration at the Mini Vidhana Soudha in Mandya are doing the rounds this year. A final decision is yet to be taken on the venue of the celebrations in Mandya but a heavy police presence is expected.
Prohibitory orders have also been put in place at Kodagu as well. The order issued by Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu PI Sreevidya will be effective from Friday 6 pm to Sunday 6 am. At least two people had lost their lives in 2015, as tensions had escalated between protestors and those supporting the celebration.
"In the view of maintaining law and order, besides government programmes and pre-commissioned private events such as weddings, engagement and house-warming, no public or political gathering or processions, agitation, will be allowed. Individuals are prohibited from carrying arms and action will be taken against those making provocative statements. Any flex boards, banners or buntings on Tipu Jayanti will be removed," DC Sreevidya in her statement said.
The state government has celebrated the birth anniversary of erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan since 2015 and it has been marred by violent protests by the BJP.
The BJP, like the past few years, has opposed the celebrations in the state. The party was earlier in favour of Tipu Sultan but has opposed the celebrations ever since it was sponsored by the government.
Tipu Jayanthi was officially celebrated by the state government in 2014 when the Congress was in power. It has been marked by protests every year, especially in Mysuru and Mandya, parts of the state that was ruled by the erstwhile Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.
“Nobody will appreciate this celebration,” Leader of Opposition BS Yeddyurappa tweeted. “In the interest of the state, the government must stop it. Government’s intention behind Tipu Jayanti celebration is just to satisfy the Muslim community.”
The situation this year is a tad complicated due to the Congress-JD(S) alliance government in the state. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, once a critic of the celebration, has approved the celebrations in the state, including the formal function at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. Earlier, Home Minister Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara had announced that the celebrations in Bengaluru will be held at Ravindra Kalaskhetra instead of the Banquet Hall in Vidhana Soudha.
The celebrations are set to go ahead amid tense conditions with police deploying additional forces and installing CCTV cameras in sensitive areas, especially Mandya and Mysuru, to ensure peaceful celebrations.
With inputs from Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)