Tipu controversy: Karnad, BJP MP receive death threats

Tipu controversy Karnad, BJP MP receive death threatsBENGALURU: Jnanpith awardee Girish Karnad and BJP MP Prathap Simha have allegedly received death threats on social media as the controversy rages in Karnataka over the birth anniversary celebrations of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

Online posts directed at the duo appeared even as the toll in the violence at Madikeri over the row climbed to two after a youth succumbed to bullet wounds.

Karnad, who came under severe attack for his remarks that Bengaluru international airport should have been named after Tipu Sultan rather than the city’s founder, Kempe Gowda, received a threat on Twitter that he would meet with the same fate as rationalist MM Kalburgi, who was gunned down recently by two men at his residence in Dharwad in north Karnataka.

Security has been posted at the residence of Karnad, a noted Kannada playwright and actor, in the wake of the controversy over his remarks with several organizations, particularly those connected with the dominant Vokkaliga community to which Kempe Gowda belonged, Kannada bodies, right-wing outfits and BJP, targeting him.

Mysuru-Kodagu BJP MP Prathap Simha, who received a threat to his life in a Facebook post, has approached Mysuru police.

A tweet posted on the twitter handle, ‘Intolerant Chandra’ allegedly said that Karnad will meet with the same fate as Kalburgi if he enrages Kannadigas with such comments.

A senior police official said they have received information about a post making a threat against Karnad and are looking into the matter.

In a controversial remark at state government-organized Tipu Jayanti event here on Tuesday, Karnad had said that it would have been “apt” had the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli near here been named after Tipu Sultan rather than Kempe Gowda, a feudatory ruler under the erstwhile Vijayanagara Empire who founded Bengaluru in 1537.

Karnad had yesterday said he apologizes if “anybody has been hurt” by his views. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was also present at the function where Karnad made the remarks, had yesterday clarified that the government had nothing to do with the writer’s views and the question simply did not arise of renaming Bengaluru international airport.

On the other hand, Simha approached police on Tuesday night complaining of a post threatening dire consequences for him for his remarks over the violence at Madikeri incident, which claimed the life of local VHP leader Kuttappa.

Madikeri was rocked by clashes over the celebrations marking the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan.

Simha had questioned the government and the police version that Kuttappa had died in a fall while jumping a boundary wall. The Lok Sabha MP has been severely critical of Tipu Sultan amidst claims of “persecution” suffered by Hindus under his reign.

The post on a Facebook page, ‘Mysuru Tiger Shahide Millat Mahan Tippu Sultan’ allegedly shows Simha’s photograph next to that of Kuttappa and threatens him with the same fate as the VHP leader if he continues to play politics by making “anti- Muslim comments”.

Police said that the cyber crime division has been asked to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, a youth in his mid-twenties who had sustained bullet injuries during Tuesday’s clashes in Madikeri died at a hospital in Mysuru yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, Kodagu district in-charge minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “The youth died last night, it is sad.

So, two of them have died due to the unfortunate incident (Madikeri clash) that happened on Tuesday.”

Calling it a “tragedy”, he said that the government will conduct a fair investigation into their death.

60-year old Kuttappa had died in Madikeri on Tuesday with the circumstances of his death not being clear. He was buried yesterday at Madapura near Madikeri.

While police said that he fell from a compound wall while escaping stone pelting, witnesses claimed he suffered severe head injuries in the violence and died instantly.

Karnataka government has announced an inquiry into the Madikeri violence by the Regional Commissioner in Mysuru. –PTI

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