The Bengaluru riots on August 11th sparked outrage in the city. What's more, it showed lines along which a seemingly peaceful city, might actually be more divided than we think. That's the crux of this brewing debate on who caused the Bengaluru 'riot'.
Naveen P Kumar has become the subject of much hate and a 'reason' for the violence seen on the night of August 11th in KG Halli and DJ Halli.
Naveen P Kumar: His role in the events of August 11th
It all began on Facebook. Social media the scapegoat in most cases of violence these days has had to play a foundation for online hate speech and triggers. A post on Prophet Muhammad had triggered mob violence in Bengaluru on August 11th causing destruction to life and property.
Now, as an investigation into the case proceeds, the young Naveen who's Facebook post has become the talk of the town was arrested under the charges of promoting enmity amongst groups under sections of IPC 153 (A) and 295.
However, his link to Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy as his nephew has become even more prominent in the case. What has emerged as a parallel conversation is on the political motives behind the events on Tuesday night and whether the whole series was a pre-planned plot?
Naveen: victim or mastermind?
Naveen though has become the centre of the debate on one hand. Does the story start with him? According to Naveen, it doesn't. Naveen's father told ThePrint that he had warned the youth against what he had been doing.
Media have also tried to reconstruct his past on social media. Moreover, an SP leader in Meerut even put a bounty on the youngster's head. The public, however, is livid about the character assassination and that the story doesn't begin with Naveen at all. The politician was arrested on Friday for his remarks.
According to Naveen's statement to the police, he only replied to a derogatory post on Hinduism in the comments and faced serious backlash, resulting in the violence. A report by Vijayavani report quotes Naveen as saying to the police on Friday, "Just because I'm in Congress, should I not talk about Hindu dharma?"
It is yet to be seen what will come of this debate and what happens to Naveen in the scheme of things. Not just Naveen though, numerous SDPI leaders and many others have been arrested in connection to the violence on August 11th. Public debate on the matter continues, but the facts stay buried under many opinions.