Agara Jnanendra had falsely claimed that a young boy had been killed for not speaking Urdu.
Bengaluru: Less than two days after 22-year-old V. Chandru was killed in a road rage incident, his death has sparked off a polarising reaction.
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has lodged a complaint with the Malleshwaram police station against state home minister Araga Jnanendraand BJP National General Secretary C. T. Ravi for falsely claiming that Chandru was killed for linguistic reasons.
On Tuesday night, Chandru and his friend Simon Raj had a fight with three people in Haleguddadahalli area over a bike accident. Chandru was stabbed in the row and his friend took him to Victoria Hospital, where he died of his injuries.
The police investigation has not revealed any communal motives, said Rudragowda, Additional Sub-Inspector (ASI) of the JJ Nagar police station. “It is a fairly straightforward case. The boys had an accident, which caused an altercation. Unfortunately, Chandru’s stab wound turned out to be fatal,” he added.
The JJ Nagar police station registered a complaint and all the three accused have been arrested.
At 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Araga Jnanendra claimed that Chandru was killed as he had refused to speak in Urdu. A series of tweets surfaced on social media speculating about his death.
However, before the minister’s statement, police commissioner Kamal Pant had already clarified that Chandru’s death was a result of road rage.
A Karnataka State Police Fact Check report also refuted the claims of communal angle behind the incident.
Consequently, Jnanendrahas retracted his statement, saying he was misinformed.
However, C. T. Ravi had backed the home minister’s claims and even visited Chandru’s family. He gave them a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh.
He has not retracted his statement so far.
This is not the first time the home minister has jumped the claim, said B. L. Shankar of the Congress party. “A home minister should be more careful while dispensing information. At best, this is negligence; at worst, this is yet another example of the BJP using an ordinary citizen’s death to further their communal agenda,” he said.
The BJP has said they do not support the Jnanendra’s claims or C. T. Ravi’s statements. “Those who commit murder must be punished. We hope the police investigate this incident thoroughly,” Karunakar, BJP’s media convenor added.
Chandru was an apprentice with the railways from the past two years. He is survived by his elder brother and mother.
The conflicting reports have left Chandru’s family without clarity, said Santhosh, his cousin. “We still don’t know what happened. Simon has gone to his other place; the politicians tell us this was because of a muslim issue—we have no answers,” he said.
They have never faced communal tensions before, he added. “We have no quarrel with anyone. We just want to know what happened,” he said.