A youth was also injured in firing by some unidentified persons near here, police said, adding that prohibitory orders have been clamped in the entire Kodagu district and additional reinforcements sent to the area to bring the situation under control.

The police used tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge as hundreds of people gathered here and clashes erupted between the opponents and supporters of the celebrations.

According to police, one Kuttappa, a VHP leader and a former state government employee, suffered head injuries in stone throwing and died on the spot.

The violence flared up even as statewide celebrations are being held by the government for the first time to commemorate the birth anniversary of Tipu which, however, is being boycotted by BJP amidst opposition by several outfits who see him as a 'religious bigot'.

Some outfits in Kodagu district had called for a bandh today to protest against the government's decision. Meanwhile, Home Minister G Parameshwara said additional reinforcements were being rushed to Madikeri from Chamarajanagar and Mysuru districts and appealed to people to maintain peace.

BJP has announced a 'total boycott' of the celebrations, saying that no public representative from their party at any level would participate in the official function. Further, the party's state unit chief Prahlad Joshi said that Tipu was a 'fanatic' and 'anti-Kannada'.

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