Karnataka Reels Under Fallout From Tipu Sultan Controversy

Karnataka celebrated the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan on Tuesday.

Bengaluru: Armed security outside a writer's house, protests on the street, calls for shutdowns - the fallout of the Karnataka government's decision to officially celebrate Tipu Sultan's birthday is still being felt in the state.

Playwright Girish Karnad, an admirer of the 18th century ruler, who took part in a government celebration of his birth anniversary on Tuesday, is a target of hostility. There were protests against him on streets and a death threat on Twitter - which was later deleted.

"All I had suggested was that I would have liked the international airport to be named after Tipu because he was born in Devanahalli. It is nothing against Kempegowda, it is nothing against any community," he told NDTV today.

"But the level of abuse, the level of threats...I had just been told that someone wants to shoot me. Fortunately I don't have tweets on Twitter and I'm not on Facebook so I'm blissfully unaware of those things," he said.

Complaints against the writer have also been filed with the police.

One complainant, Girish Gowda, told NDTV, "There are some writers who work to create controversy. There is Bhagavan in Mysore, Girish Karnad. UR Ananthamurthy also - he died. They are doing this to create public nuisance."

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil said, "We have given an acknowledgement to the complainant and we are taking legal advice. On the basis of the legal advice, further action in this case will be taken."

A BJP Parliamentarian from Mysuru also said he has received threats over the issue saying he would "die like Kuttappa" if he spoke against Muslims.

Kuttappa, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad worker had died in what the police say was an accidental fall during protests over the issue during a bandh called in Kodagu on Tuesday. A young Muslim man also was killed after being shot in Kodagu.

Karnataka minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said, "It is very unfortunate that two people have died. This shows violence and disturbance of peace can only cause tension and cause loss of life, nothing more. I think all political parties and organisations should desist from making inflammatory speeches."