‘Police not permitting Tipu Jayanti event’

Maruti Manpade addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi on Sunday.  

The Congress government in the State might be firm on the continuation of State-sponsored Tipu Jayanti celebrations despite strong and consistent opposition by right-wing forces, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In Kalaburagi district, however, the State machinery has apparently become an impediment to Tipu Jayanti celebrations, apart from the State-sponsored event.

Organisations and individuals that came under Tipu Jayanti Celebration Committee for the Tipu birth anniversary at Shahabad in Kalaburagi district have said that the police were not allowing them to celebrate the birth anniversary of the erstwhile Mysore ruler on their own.

“We don’t want to take part in State-sponsored Tipu Jayanti to be held on November 10 for many reasons. We want to celebrate the birth anniversary of the ruler at Shahabad town in Kalaburagi district on our own. However, the police are not allowing us,” Maruti Manpade, a leader of the committee, said at a press conference here on Sunday.

Mr. Manpade said that the Shahabad police had “warned us of detention if we organised the celebrations, either as an outdoor public gathering or as an indoor meeting.”

Not allowing the celebrations to be organised by independent civil society members is anti-democratic, he said.

“We can understand the difficulty of the police in maintaining law and order during controversial celebrations. But, they cannot deny us our democratic right to celebrate the birth anniversary of the ruler for that reason,” he said.

Mr. Manpade alleged that the district administration was preventing progressive people from celebrating the birthday of the ruler, instead of preventing regressive Hindutva activists from creating trouble on that day,” he said

“The district administration is afraid of Hindutva activists. Even district in-charge Minister Sharanprakash Patil has expressed his helplessness. If the government is not competent enough to tackle right-wing forces, both ideologically and physically, why did it declare the celebration despite the strong opposition?” he said.

He declared that like-minded individuals and organisations would go ahead with the celebration despite obstructions from the police.

Maula Mulla, another leader, said that Tipu Jayanti was celebrated by civil society even before the government started celebrating it. “Preventing people from celebrating Tipu Jayanti and forcing them to participate in State-sponsored events is condemnable,” he said.

The police, however, cite law and order issues behind the decision to not allow non-government public rallies on the day. Speaking to The Hindu, Alok Kumar, Inspector-General of Police (North East Range), clarified that indoor programmes would be allowed.

“If everybody takes out public processions on the same day, we will not be able to provide protection. If some untoward incidents happen, we will be held responsible. There will be no problem if anyone celebrates it indoor,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:47:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/police-not-permitting-tipu-jayanti-event/article19988774.ece

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