False communal spin added to Bengaluru double murder case

By: Soham Shah
July 14 2023

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False communal spin added to Bengaluru double murder case


The Verdict False

There is no evidence to indicate that the victim in the Bengaluru double murder case was a Hindu seer. The police have also ruled out a communal angle

Claim ID c7e5f012


On Tuesday, July 11, two individuals identified as Phanindra Subramanyam and Vinu Kumar were stabbed to death by three persons in their office in Bengaluru, Karnataka, a Southern state in India. Subramanyam and Kumar were the MD and CEO of Aironics Media Private Limited. 

Soon after this incident, several posts on social media suggested that Subramanyam was a “Hindu seer” and also insinuated that the incident was an act of communal violence. 

Several Twitter users, including the National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sunil Deodhar, shared a post and wrote, “Hindu Seer brutally murdered in Bengaluru. #Paneendra_Subramanyamm no more. Alarming situation in #Karnataka has arrived due to a Government that idolises tyrant #TipuSultan. Everyone should strongly protest ! #CongressHaiToKillingsHai (sic).” Archive links of these posts can be found here and here

He shared a picture of Subramanyam that showed him in a traditional Hindu attire with a tattoo on one of his arms, depicting the Hindu symbol ‘Om’ and a trishul (trident).

However, we have found that the incident has no communal angle. The police has so far arrested four people — Philics (Felix alias Shabarish), Santhu alias Santhosh, Vinay Reddy, and Arun Kumar — and clarified that it was a case of business rivalry. The police has also clarified that Subramanyam wasn’t a seer. 

In Fact

Logically Facts accessed a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Bengaluru police on the basis of a complaint filed by Shankar Nayaran, a senior sales manager at the company run by the victims. The complainant alleged that the motive of the murder could have been business rivalry. Narayan named Arun Kumar, owner of GNET, where the two victims were employed before opening their company. 

The FIR, filed on July 11, 2023, at the Amruthahally police station in Bengaluru, identifies Philics (Felix aka Shabarish), Santhu (Santhosh) and an unknown person as the accused. It further names Arun Kumar as a suspect. While the FIR doesn’t identify the fourth accused, Logically Facts reached out to the police who identified him as Vinay Reddy. All four have been arrested and a case has been registered under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention). 

Further, Raman Gupta, additional commissioner of police (East), Bengaluru, told us, “There is no religious angle to the murder. It was a business rivalry. The victim was a Hindu nationalist but there is nothing to show that he was a seer.”

Bengaluru Police also posted a clarification on Twitter on July 12 after these posts went viral. 

“Pertaining to this incident, the allegedly accused have been arrested and an FIR has been registered at @amruthahallips. We request namma public to refrain from sharing this incident further while the investigation is underway.”

Who Was Phanindra Subramanyam?

We looked for Subramanyam’s social media profiles and came across a Facebook page, possibly of the victim, which says ‘Works at Hindu Nationalist Cause’ in the ‘about’ section. While there are posts supporting the BJP and Hindu gods, there is no evidence to show that he was a ‘Hindu seer,’ as claimed by many. 

The News Minute quoted Mohan Gowda, the state spokesperson of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, as saying that while Subramanyam was an RSS member, the murder was due to a business rivalry and was not related to his religion.

As for the image being shared online, we could trace it to a video uploaded on Instagram on April 30, 2023 by an account in the name of ‘Phanindra Subramanyam.’  

The Verdict

There is no evidence to indicate that the victim in the Bengaluru double murder case was a Hindu seer. The police have also ruled out a communal angle and so far arrested four people – all Hindus – in connection with the case. Therefore, we are marking the claim as false. 

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