Just after midnight on April 6, several social media accounts claimed that a Hindu man named Chandru was killed by Muslims in the Goripalya area of Bengaluru. As per the claim, Chandru was murdered because he refused to speak Urdu and conversed in his mother tongue Kannada.

Facebook page The Right Voice shared a broadcast by regional Kannada news outlet Kasthuri News 24 that reported the same.

Twitter users @HMSKTK, @SpeaksKshatriya, @uma6mahi6, @Kuberappaph, and @Mohan_HJS also shared Kasthuri News 24’s broadcast.

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OpIndia reported [sic], “A 22-year-old youth Chandru was brutally stabbed to death by three youths, reportedly for not speaking Urdu. The incident took place on Monday in Bengaluru’s JJ Nagar police station limits.” The tweet gained over 2,000 retweets.

BJP National general secretary CT Ravi also claimed that a Hindu youth was murdered because he was speaking in Kannada. TV9 aired his claim during a broadcast.

Several ‘nationalist’ and pro-BJP groups shared Kasthuri News 24’s broadcast.

False communal spin

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant posted a clarification on Twitter regarding the incident. He wrote, “JJ Nagar PS murder case: In the midnight of 05.04.2022, Simon Raj and Chandru [22 years, r/o Cottonpete, Christian by community] had gone to an eatery on Mysore Road. While returning back on their bike, they collided with another bike, being ridden by one Shahid. It led to a quarrel, which was joined by others. During the fight, Shahid stabbed Chandru on his right thigh and [the] assailants fled from the spot. Chandru was shifted to Victoria hospital, where he succumbed to [his] injury. All the 3 accused persons are arrested.[sic]”

The Hindu reported, “The police arrested Shahid Pasha, 21, Shahid Goli, 22, and booked a juvenile for allegedly stabbing Chandru to death. The trio have been arrested based on the CCTV footage and local intelligence gathered from the scene of crime. They have been booked under murder and taken into custody for further investigation.”

Karnataka police published a fact-check report debunking the reportage by Kasthuri News 24.

Alt News spoke with a local crime reporter from Bengaluru who told us on the condition of anonymity, “I have spoken with all concerned police officials. None of them states that this was a communal incident. Some regional TV news channels have grossly misreported this incident. To my surprise, even state home minister Araga Dnyanendra made the same claim. Most media outlets carried his statement without verification.”

The reporter also shared the FIR copy with us [view PDF]. The FIR only mentions Shahid as the accused. The reporter informed, “Initially, only one was arrested. After his confession, they nabbed two others.”

The FIR was filed by complainant Simon Raj who also hails from the Christian community. It states that both Simon Raj and Chandru were out for Simon’s birthday. They had gone to Goripalya in search of chicken rolls when Shahid’s bike hit their vehicle. There was a war of words, and two of Shahid’s friends joined him. In a fit of road rage, Shahid stabbed Chandru causing extreme bleeding and Chandru succumbed to his injuries on his way to the hospital.

The claim that the victim was Hindu is false as both Simon and Chandru belonged to the Christian community. Furthermore, the FIR filed by Simon doesn’t allege any communal motivations or that they were forced to speak in Urdu.

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About the Author

Archit is a senior fact-checking journalist at Alt News. Previously, he has worked as a producer at WION and as a reporter at The Hindu. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at S3IDF.