P. Naveen Kumar, 34, whose inflammatory social media posts on Islam triggered mob violence, is the nephew of Pulakeshinagar Congress MLA R. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy. Though the two families have been estranged for nearly a decade, the mob directed its ire at the MLA’s house as well.
Naveen, who was arrested for promoting enmity between religious groups, claimed his Facebook account was hacked. He deleted the account on Tuesday night itself, but the violence had spread by then.
Naveen’s father, T. Pavan Kumar, a retired health official who was sitting outside his vandalised house at Kaval Byrasandra here on Wednesday afternoon, believes that trouble for the family started on August 5.
“On that day when the bhoomi puja was conducted for Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, my son and his friends burst crackers and distributed sweets in the area. We have been living here for over four decades in complete harmony with both Muslims and Christians. I scolded my son and advised him against this celebration, but he did not listen to me. The celebrations did not go down well with members of the minority community in the area,” he said. Naveen, who has business interests in the real estate sector, got married two months ago.
The Social Democratic Party of India, whose local leaders are the complainants against Naveen and have since been arrested as accused in the rioting case, alleged that the derogatory post was the latest in a series of social media posts he had put out targeting their religion.
Senior police officials said whether Naveen’s social media handles were hacked or not was part of the probe.
Mr. Pavan Kumar said he spoke to his son after this Facebook post went viral causing trouble in the entire area. “He said someone had hacked into his account and made that post. I don’t know much about it,” he said.