Hubbali civic body nod to AIMIM for Tipu Sultan event at Idgah Ground sparks row
The Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimen (AIMIM) has been granted permission by the municipal corporation to observe the birth anniversary of Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan at the controversial Eidgah Ground in Karnataka’s Hubbali next month.
The ground of late has been the bone of contention between two communities. While only Muslims were allowed to offer namaz on the ground twice a year, the Karnataka High Court allowed the conduct of Ganesh Puja festival on the grounds this year.
The recent decision of the BJP-controlled Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) to allow Tipu Sultan Jayanti celebrations was reportedly taken at a meeting that was attended by all stakeholders, and the chairperson and members of the standing committee of the civic body. The corporation announced its decision on Wednesday (November 9).
The AIMIM and the Samata Sainik Dal had earlier submitted a request seeking permission for the same.
The civic body has also given its nod to the celebration of Veerarani Onake Obavva Jayanti and Bhakta Kanakadasa Jayanti, both coinciding on Friday, by the Sri Ram Sena. Incidentally, the Sri Ram Sena had opposed the request by AIMIM.
Hinting that the municipality will keep a watch on the celebrations at the ground, Mayor Veeresh Anchatgeri had earlier told the media that while religious functions will be allowed at the Eidgah Maidan, it would also be ensured that no “big leaders” are allowed the enter the premises.
The HDMC in a statement mentioned that certain restrictions will be imposed during the conduct of the events and the organisers will be expected to conclude the show between 10 am and 12 pm. It would also be mandatory for the organisers to take due permission from the police and assure to maintain law and order, the corporation said. It clarified that while the organisers will be allowed to use portrait of Tipu Sultan, they cannot put any controversial posters at the venue or its surroundings.
While the corporation’s decision has been welcomed by the local unit of AIMIM, it has been opposed by right-wing activists including Sri Rama Sene, which plans to stage a protest against it. The right wing views Tipu Sultan, the 17th century Mysuru ruler, as cruel and anti-Hindu.
Controversy broke out in August after the Karnataka High Court allowed Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations to be held at the Idgah Ground, traditionally a prayer place for Muslims. While Muslims protested against the decision and a local Muslim organization also went to court against it, the Supreme Court declined to stop the celebrations.
The apex court, however, refused to grant the permission to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at the Idgah grounds in Bengaluru while ordering a status quo there.