The Bengaluru police on Wednesday, April 6, published a fact check on Karnataka Home Minister’s statement where he alleged that a young Dalit man was “killed by Muslim youths for speaking only in Kannada.” The police clarified that Chandru, a 22-year-old in Bengaluru, died in an incident of road rage and there was no such issue over the language spoken.
The police have said that at midnight on Tuesday, April 5, Chandru and his friend Simon Raj had gone to an eatery on Mysuru Road when, while returning to Cottonpet, they collided with another bike. The rider of the other bike, identified as Shahid, was incensed by this, and the incident escalated into a quarrel. The argument took a violent turn when during the fight, Shahid took out a knife and stabbed Chandru in the thigh, police said. Though Chandru was shifted to Victoria Hospital in the city, he succumbed, according to Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant.
However, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had alleged that Chandru was riding through an area that had a high Muslim population and that he was asked by the assailants to speak in Urdu, which led to the altercation in which he was killed. “He said he didn’t know any other language except Kannada when they brutally, inhumanely stabbed him,” the Home Minister told the media.
The Bengaluru police have arrested three accused, including Shahid, in connection with Chandru’s death.
In a fact-check posted on the police’s official website, the Bengaluru police pointed out that a few local news channels had run the Home Minister’s quote, that Chandru was killed for ‘not speaking Urdu,’ and have termed this as false. They posted screengrabs from Kannada news channels calling Chandru’s murder an incident of “excess by Muslim boys” for “not speaking Urdu” and pointed out that this was not true.
The police also shared an image of a quote by lawyer Meera Raghavendra that was going viral on WhatsApp and other social media, with a similar allegation that Chandru was killed for not speaking Urdu. “The above post was deleted immediately by Meera Raghavendra and Kasturi News24 on their Facebook and Twitter pages as false news,” the police wrote in the release.
“News that is not checked for facts like the above news is detrimental for society and legal action will be taken against it. The public is asked to share verified news on social media platforms, and not share fake news,” the police said.