The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a “Rasta Roko” protest for about an hour near Town Hall in Bengaluru on Friday. The Hindu organisation had called out for a state-wide bandh in Karnataka following the death of one of its leaders in Madikeri during a demonstration against the state government’s decision to hold Tipu Jayanti.
Heavy security was deployed in various cities across the state. In Dakshina Kannada district, the district administration has imposed Section 144 for three days after a 27-year-old man was allegedly stabbed in Bantwal area on Thursday.
VHP protest in Bengaluru
Around 500 people took part in the protest in Town Hall. VHP was joined by other members of Sangh Parivar- Sri Ram Sene and Bajrang Dal, and BJP at the protest.
The protesters put a slipper garland on a poster of CM Siddaramaiah, a few tyres were burnt outside Town Hall and traffic was stopped in the area for over an hour.
The protesters had three demands:
Firstly, they asked the government to increase the compensation from Rs 5 lakh to 25 lakh for the family of VHP leader Kuttappa, who died in Madikeri on Tuesday.
Secondly, they said Tipu Jayanti celebrations need to be stopped. The Sangh Parivar and BJP have been against the celebration as according to them Tipu was a tyrant who persecuted Hindus and Christians.
And thirdly, they demanded a thorough judicial probe into Kuttappa’s murder.
Speaking at the protest, senior VHP leader, Gopal Jee said, “When a Muslim leader dies, the compensation is higher. This has not been the case when Hindu leaders die. We are not happy with just an enquiry into the murder of Kuttappa, we want a thorough judicial probe and want the miscreants to be punished as soon as possible.”
Gopal Jee claimed that Harish, who died in Dakshina Kannada district after being stabbed by a gang, was also a VHP activist.
By celebrating Tipu Jayanti, the government is indirectly insulting Mysuru Maharaja, he added.
Speaking on the death of the VHP leader, Bajrang Dal leader Suryanarayanan said, “We should act the same way Muslims act. If they use violence we should also indulge in violence.”
BJP leader, R Ashok blamed Siddaramaiah of playing vote bank politics. He said that by celebrating Tipu Jayanti, the CM is dividing communities.
Speaking on threats to Girish Karnad, Ashok dismissed it by saying Karnad himself had planted these threats. He said, “Karnad is a Congress stooge. The threats must be fake. Those who believe in Hindu ideologies have not issued Karnad any threats.”