Four precious lives including that of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader were lost in Karnataka, while scores injured as Karnataka Government went ahead with its 'ambitious' programme of appeasing the minority community.
The Government spent enormous money with strict instructions to officials to ensure that the programme was made a 'success' in every district. While people questioned the need to organise the Jayanti for a king known more for his bigotry than tolerance, more for barbarianism than development, the State Government had only one agenda-to appease the minority community.
There were protests across the state especially at Kodagu (Coorg), a hilly terrain district where Tipu is still considered as a villain for his atrocities. The localities had turned up in large numbers to oppose the Jayanti at Madikeri (capital of Kodagu district). However, the police refused permission for the democratic protests.
Soon, miscreants started pelting stones and police had to resort to lathi charge, which was so severe that many were injured and in the melee, a VHP leader, 50-year old Kuttappa was grievously injured and died on his way to hospital. However, State Government claimed that Kuttappa died after falling into a ditch from a great height after losing balance as stones were being pelted. Many were injured as police lathis were in full swing.
It was a brutal murder : VHP
As Kuttappa's murder mystery intensified, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said it was not an accidental death but a clear case of brutal murder. VHP zonal president Shri Gopal Nagarakatte said, “We have evidence that Kuttappa was pulled by miscreants and thrown from a great height and was killed. During the Tuesday's protest at Madikeri, many Muslim fundamentalists had come to the hill town from neighbouring Kerala. In fact, they had openly posted in their social website about killing Kuttappa. We have given enough evidence to the police about outsiders and fundamentalists entering Madikeri to vitiate the atmosphere. Surprisingly, the police has turned a blind eye to our requests. We strongly condemn the murder of dedicated and committed leader Kuttappa.” The VHP leaders urged the State Government to use its senses and ensure that this was the first and last Tipu Jayanti.
The Congress, which claims to 'preach the mantra of tolerance, failed to understand the pulse of tolerant majority. The Hindus had requested the Government for a holiday on Gowri festival which it rejected. However, the same government had no regrets for loss of lives as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah openly defended the action.