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‘Warned Naveen, but he did not listen’ — father of man whose post led to Bengaluru riots

P. Naveen Kumar distributed sweets among local residents, including Muslims, after Ayodhya Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan. Neighbours say it looked like he was 'provoking people'.

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Bengaluru: On 5 August, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the bhoomi pujan for Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the father of P. Naveen Kumar, the man whose alleged Facebook post triggered riots in Bengaluru Tuesday, was extremely perturbed by what his son was doing.

Naveen had been seen bursting crackers with his friends on the day to celebrate the moment.

Local residents of the Kaval Byrasandra neighbourhood told ThePrint that Naveen also distributed sweets among Hindu residents of the area, and even went to a few Muslim homes. “It was as if he was provoking people,” said a resident, who did not want to be named.

Naveen’s father T. Pavan Kumar told ThePrint that since 5 August, he had been having a feeling that his son would land in trouble. Kumar, a retired government health official, said he was very upset with his son who paid no heed to his advice.

“I warned him against this, but he did not listen to me,” Kumar told ThePrint. “Many did not like what he did. We have been here for several generations and have been living in harmony.”

Kumar added, “He (Naveen) got married just two months ago, and now he is in jail. I don’t know what kind of problem he has got himself into.”

Naveen’s ‘derogatory’ Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad sparked riots late Tuesday night in the Kaval Byrasandra area, which left three persons dead after the Bengaluru Police opened fire to contain the mob. He was arrested soon after the violence.

Also read: Bengaluru has seen 8 major riots since 1986 — including two over Prophet Muhammad

An aspiring politician

Naveen’s Facebook page, which has now been deactivated by the police, painted a picture of an ambitious young man with political aspirations. The 34-year-old B.Com graduate has business dealings in the real estate sector and he described himself as a politician and public servant on the page.

His Facebook posts were also a contradiction of each other.

There was a tribute to fiery Urdu poet Rahat Indori, while another post showed a burqa-clad woman walking with three children dressed as Krishna on the occasion of Janmashtami.

Apart from the post that sparked the riots, there is also one attacking “fake secular people”. “For a few fake secular people of Pulakeshinagar pls remove your fake secular masks when you don’t know its meaning,” it read.

Another post was addressed to his “Muslim and Christian friends”. “To all my Muslim and Christian friends, how does praising my religion and worshipping my god make me communal. Am I insulting any of your religions here?”

Naveen also posted a picture of Lord Ram on 5 August.

“Posts of Hindu Gods are seen but he also makes an effort to make himself look secular,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.

What stands out is that Naveen had more Muslim followers on his Facebook page. He was followed by 3,450 people.

Currently in police custody, Naveen is said to have claimed that he didn’t post the “derogatory” post on Prophet Muhammad, and that his Facebook account had been hacked.

Another police officer said there was unusual activity on Naveen’s Facebook page. “There is a post on Wednesday at 1.52 pm, 12 hours after he was arrested,” the officer said. “This could be a ploy to validate his claim of his account being hacked. But we are in the process of investigation.”

Some of Naveen's Facebook posts | By special arrangement
Some of Naveen’s Facebook posts | By special arrangement

Had been upset with Congress MLA uncle

While Naveen has been identified as the nephew of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA Akhand Srinivas Murthy, with rioters even torching the legislator’s home, the two had not been getting along for a while.

A local Congress leader from DJ Halli in Bengaluru said Naveen’s grouse is that he believes that his uncle did not give him the political push he deserved.

“His dreams failed to take off as he was unable to dedicate himself to one particular political party,” the Congress leader said. “Though his family is primarily with the Congress, Naveen has been found to be present on several BJP WhatsApp groups as well.”

“Apart from Akhand Srinivas Murthy, who is an MLA from the Congress, one of Naveen’s aunts was a councillor representing the Janata Dal (S),” said a local corporator.

Of late Naveen had been trying hard to earn his uncle Srinivas Murthy’s favour, but remained largely unsuccessful.

“I don’t know why my house was targeted. I hope the miscreants are booked,” Srinivas Murthy told ThePrint. “I have represented this area for years and all my Muslim brothers and sisters have always supported me. I don’t know about Naveen’s life as my sister does not live with me.”

Murthy, who moved from the JD(S) to the Congress, won the Pulakeshinagar seat by a huge margin of 80,000 votes in the 2018 assembly elections. Pulakeshinagar is largely a Muslim-dominated constituency.

Also read: BJP blames radical PFI’s political arm for Bengaluru riots, police say investigation on


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  1. As you always mention caste of person in your propaganda articles, i think you’ve forgot to put caste of this man in this article.

  2. This entire article *reeks* of victim blaming. As someone else pointed out it used to be perfectly accepted to insult Hindu sentiments. Now that the Hindus are speaking up (like the Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and Muslims did) everyone else is getting triggered. Simply exercising our freedom of speech to the same degree as others always have has caused a riot.

    • What is the Hindu sentiment that someone insulted ?

      This man was looking for a riot. He was seeking fame and adulation – like Advani and Modi before. Other communities in India do not do that.

  3. It is essential that there should be an central act to control religious blasphemy .

    As said above Christians did lots of defamation to Hindu Gods but expecting silence from Hindus

    As Gandhi says ..western Christianity is not good and as Nietzsche says ..there is only one Christian in the world and that’s Jesus Christ.

    But unfortunately many taking law in their own hand and doing all the hate activity created solely by so called Christians and Muslims are being targeted to get voters sympathy

    India is land of rationals and cradle of world rationality ….but in 21st century it’s fighting for religions

  4. The father was not into Hindu fanaticism, but his son got into it. This is a revealing story of the damage Hindutva has done – to Hindus.

    Continuous brainwashing by RSS, media like Republic Channel, and politicians has done tremendous damage to young Hindu men. It has produced a crop of angry Hindu men, and turned them into lawless lynchers, mob rioters and rapists. Due to female infanticide amongst Hindus, there is a surplus of Hindu males, and they are bound to be frustrated.

    India talks about youth dividend and how it will help it compete with China. That would be the case if the youth were educated and employable. The RSS, Hindu media, and Hindu politicians have destroyed the Hindu youth. The minorities have control over their youth and in the long run they will be law abiding and serve India better.

    • minority has control… Ha ha ha…. everything about Hindu is not RSS…take off ur commi specks and see… first check ur fact and the facts of article…why this lad commented on nobody is telling bcz it’s taken granted to abuse Hindu gods

      • ‘why this lad commented on nobody is telling …’

        He has not told us and neither have you explained why he commented. I rold you why he commented : he is seeking to trigger a riot and be a Hindu hero. He wanted his uncle to recognise him. When he did not get that, he decided he could get recognition by being an obnoxious Hindu. He has seen Advani and Modi do it. He has seen Rahul Kanwal and Goswami. He was hoping for fame like them.

        Hindu youth, specifically the men, are turning into useless scum, constantly creating disturbances.

  5. The moderator seems to have removed a comment pasted by me. Thank you. The post neither spread hatred nor was a personal attack on any one. Then why was it removed? Shekhar ji only The Print needs freedom of speech ? Why condemn the SC on Prashant Bhushan on this instance when you cannot retain a simple post which probably would not be watched by many?

  6. What happened to free speech crusaders?
    The media is printing pictures of this young fellow knowing that murderous thugs will go after him.

      • You seem like you know everything , but you are clearly shouting it out that you dont . You dont have facts or any knowledge so why pretend to know enough . The boy replied to a bad comment made by someone about hindu gods , but people like you are calling him a criminal when he is just a victim of voilence by some thugs .

        • ‘The boy replied to a bad comment made by someone about hindu gods…’

          ‘he is just a victim of voilence by some thugs .

          Where does it say these in the article ? Nowhere. He was a Hindu criminal and you want to shield him out of misplaced Hindu loyalty.

          Your whole quam is going will go down if you do not educate your youth. At least the father was decent to realise and regret, but the younger Hindus are going down.

  7. As pointed out by REDDY, i don’t understand how distributing sweets had become communal ??? Getting back the historic temple destructed by a psycho ruler after 500 years after hundreds of years of legal battle is not a time for celebration?? This kind of reporting funded by Pseudo-seculars and Communals should be stopped!!!

  8. You are right. ‘Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it’! None of posts of accused published here by you are spreading any hatred. If Burqa clad woman has dressed her children as Krishna, and it is being posted, is that unsecular? If not what ‘The Print’is trying to put into the thoughts of readers? Is this ‘Quality journalism’? Shekhar Sir?. You want readers to pay. So sensationalize. right?! Interestingly a comment above by ‘Peace’ says the accused be hanged. Peace – piece -piece

    • The Print is trying to show this Hindu youth had a disturbed mental equilibrium and confused motives – sometimes posting hate messages, sometimes messages showing communal amity. He seems to be a Hindu youth seeking attention and power.

  9. Print finds comfortable in taking a particular side and whitewash another, if someone hacks print website and makes derogatory news ,they will burn ur office, ur ignorance could cost u one day be careful nd wake up guys

  10. Why let handicaps in English prevent you from communicating complete information? Consider having used ‘Mama’ instead of Uncle or within brackets in each instance.

    Itne bhi Angrezi ke gulam na bano.

  11. If this violent act of muslims is justified then so it cow vigilante. Stop this hypocrisy, sensitivities goes both ways.

  12. Ok , so distributing sweets on occasion of Hindu temple Bhoomi pooja is anti secular in India which secularists declared as secular country ,great, but Muslims, Christians, secularists can comment any thing about Hindu gods and make movies like Sexy Durga and paintings by MF Hussain of Naked Saraswathi is a secular act , great great
    One small doubt , when Hindus objected about making Sexy Durga movie and MF Hussein naked paintings , these secularists and Leftists questioned Hindus , Is Hinduism is so weak that some paintings and making few movies will make Hinduism weak !! I want to ask same question to these secularists and Leftists, Congress people, will they ask sane question to Muslims, will a negative comment against Mohammad and Islam will make Islam so week , will they dare to ask this question to Muslims in India , please let me know your thoughts.

    • Distributing sweets to celebrate bhoomi pujan is not anti secular. But why was his father worried !! For him, it looked like he was up for something beyond.

    • It is essential that there should be an central act to control religious blasphemy .

      As said above Christians did lots of defamation to Hindu Gods but expecting silence from Hindus

      As Gandhi says ..western Christianity is not good and as Nietzsche says ..there is only one Christian in the world and that’s Jesus Christ.

      But unfortunately many taking law in their own hand and doing all the hate activity created solely by so called Christians and Muslims are being targeted to get voters sympathy

      India is land of rationals and cradle of world rationality ….but in 21st century it’s fighting for religions

    • Not at all. Insulting anyone is not a crime under Indian penal code. India is governed by Indian penal code, not by Sharia law. We have freedom of expression, and we will defend it. Naveen did nothing wrong as per Indian penal code.

      • And if someone says Rama was not born in the Babari masjid, Hindus will lynch him, and Indian penal code will be silent. So don’t put on airs.

        • Are you sure? People have already been saying that, haven’t they?

          There’s tons and tons of ASI data. Nothing will convince who don’t want to be convinced. Even if we assume that the Babri Masjid wasn’t built atop Rama’s birthplace, there’s plenty of other Mosques that are clearly built on pre-existing temples (e.g. Gyanvaapi Mosque) which I am *certain* the Muslim community won’t be willing to give away either.

          • Rama was a mythological figure, so how can be have a birthplace, especially an exact spot.

            Hindus are looking for a fight with Muslims to assert their supremacy. If it was not this, it will be something else.

            It all stems from an inferiority complex. Even if you demolished 1000 mosques, you will still have that inferiority complex because inside you are hollow. No one respects you – because of your behaviour.

    • Your name “Peace” is a misnomer isn’t it – after all you advocate violence for a non-violent act !

      So change your name to “Violence”

  13. Sadly he was not slaughtering during SHRAVAN and has been rightfully MADE OUT TO BE INDULGING IN DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES OF SWEET DISTRIBUTION . Distributing sweets is provocation not slaughter during SHRAVAN. THANKS ” THE CHAPPAI ” for enlightened reporting.

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