A statewide bandh called by VHP in Karnataka to protest the death of an activist in clashes over celebration of Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary was successful in the coastal Karnataka region of Mangaluru, Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamagaluru.
But it received a weak response in the rest of the state, including Madikeri where clashes were witnessed on November 10 over the issue, leading to the death of VHP activist D S Kutappa and a Muslim youth named Shahul Hameed K N.
Life in Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada, where tension prevailed after two youths were attacked and stabbed Thursday night, came to a halt due to the VHP protest and the clamping of Section 144 by the police in the region following Thursday night’s violence.
The district administration declared a holiday for schools and colleges Friday. Shops and business establishments remained closed. Schools and colleges remained closed in neighbouring Chikkamagaluru district too.
Activists of VHP and other rightwing outfits held protests in various parts of the state and at many places highways were blocked for an hour. Police resorted to a mild lathi-charge in Mysuru where agitators tried to force a few educational institutions to close down. In Bengaluru, VHP, BJP and other organisations sat in protest at the Town Hall.
VHP’s regional organising secretary, Gopal, has demanded that the state government issue an immediate declaration stating that it will not celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary in future. He said Tipu forcefully converted around four lakh Hindus to Islam and introduced Persian and Urdu languages in Mysuru during his rule.
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