A bandh was called by Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Karnataka on Friday to protest against the death of a worker, as well as the state-sponsored anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan. The Times of India reported that roads were empty and schools and colleges closed in about half-a- dozen cities in the state. The bandh was called after a VHP worker died on Thursday after sustaining injuries during a protest in Madikeri, and a man was stabbed to death in a similar protest in Mangaluru. Security has been deployed across the state, and unlawful assembly of more than 10 people has been prohibited, with Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code put in place in Mangaluru and sensitive areas of the state.
The VHP has been joined by right-wing groups such as Bajrang Dal and Sri Ram Sene. Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said Tipu Sultan was a figure who was “bound to raise issues from time to time”. Reports said the Centre refused to get involved in the matter.
Earlier writer Girish Karnad apologised for remarking that Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport airport should be renamed after Tipu Sultan. Naidu said that bringing up a name change for the airport was “uncalled for”. The Congress-led state government's decision to celebrate Tipu Sultan Jayanti has drawn ire from right-wing groups, who claim that the 18th century Muslim ruler was a bigot and persecuted Hindus.