November 25, 2015
In the wake of the ongoing controversy about celebrating Tippu Sultan’s birthday, Mettupalayam municipality on Wednesday removed the nameplate of ‘Tippu Sultan Market,’ that was put up by the local merchants.
M.E Hakkim, a merchant said, “We have been selling spare parts of old vehicles in Sirumugai Road near Shankar Nagar for 3 months. There are around 300 shops and about 50 residents have relocated to the area.” He added that the merchants are paying all the necessary taxes to the municipality.
Rafi, another merchant, said that they had decided to name their new market after Tippu Sultan in order to celebrate his birth anniversary. However, the municipality officials and police have opposed the naming as it may instigate communal violence in the area, and have removed the nameplate.
The locals retaliated by protesting in front of the Mettupalayam Municipality office, demanding to officially name the market after Tippu Sultan, and petitioned the Municipality Commissioner. The commissioner had received the petition.
One of the protesters alleged that since Tippu Sultan fought for the freedom struggle, his name was chosen. “He was the first person to build a rocket to fight against the British army,” he claimed.
Farook Abdullah, treasurer of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), accused the municipality administration and the police department of favouring the Hindutva ideologies of the BJP, despite ADMK’s rule in the state.