Row over Tipu Sultan resurfaces in Andhra town

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Amaravati, April 9

The Tipu Sultan controversy has resurfaced in Proddatur town in Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa district.

Unidentified person wrote 'Tipu Sultan Centre' on a divider on Jinnah Road Centre, once again bringing to the fire the controversy over the proposal to install a statue of the former Mysore ruler in the town.

On the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, unidentified persons wrote the name in Telugu. Anticipating trouble, the local municipal authorities moved swiftly to wipe out the writing on the divider.

The police beefed up the security as a precautionary measure and began investigation to identify the person who wrote 'Tipu Sultan Centre'.

The town had witnessed tension in July last year after BJP staged protests against the proposal to install Tipu Sultan's statue in the town.

Proddatur MLA Rachamallu Siva Prasad Reddy belonging to ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) wanted to install the statue on Jinna Road in the town on a request from local people and had even laid foundation stone for the same.

However, this met with strong opposition from BJP, which termed Tipu Sultan a tormentor of Hindus. The saffron party threatened the structure, if built.

BJP state president Somu Veerraju had also staged a dharna at the municipal office in the town to oppose the proposal to install the statue of Tipu Sultan.

The saffron party had also tried to take out a rally to the spot where foundation stone was laid, leading to tension. Its leaders had termed the proposal as an attempt to hurt sentiments of Hindus and had urged the state committee to drop the proposal and instead install a statue of late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The YSRCP MLA, however, had defended the move saying there was no evidence that Tipu Sultan committed atrocities on Hindus. He had said that if this was proved he would disassociate from the project.

With the issue leading to tension and law and order problems in the town, the municipal authorities had dropped the proposal.

Now, with unidentified persons trying to reignite the controversy with the writings overnight, the authorities are once again on alert to prevent any untoward incident.


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