Social Media
The incident occurred during a procession in Payyanur, Kannur, as part of the birthday celebrations of Lord Krishna.

During the Lord Krishna birth celebrations conducted in Kerala, the photograph of a three-year-old kid who was allegedly tied to an artificial peepal leaf for nearly two and half hours has sparked outrage in the state.

The sobhayatra happened in Payyanur, Kannur and the processions were conducted as a part of the birthday celebrations of Lord Krishna. 

The incident came to light after Sreekant Usha Prabhakaran, a resident of Payyannur posted a photograph of the child on Facebook. 

“I saw this little kid dressed up as Krishna and he was tied to an artificial peepal leaf for hours atop a vehicle during the procession organised by the Vivekanandan Seva Samiti,” he said.

“The procession with many vehicles of the Seva Samithi, began in the afternoon from near Payyannur New Bus Stand and had children dressed up in various styles. The photograph is  that of a child dressed as Krishna and sleeping on a peepal leaf in one of the vehicles,” the Facebook post along with the picture said. 

“Children standing in the procession had to bear the sunlight for hours. When I first saw the child, I thought it was a statue. Then I saw the child moving his hands and legs. The waist of the child seemed tied up to the leaf. The visual of the child lying down like this, with his head resting on a side to avoid sunlight reminded me of crucified Jesus,” the post said.

The post further said, “I then called up the Childline, but the response was cold. The person who picked up the phone asked me whether the child or his parents have any complaint. After some time, the call was transferred to Kannur Childline and I was able to talk to the woman who is in charge of Payannur. When I asked her to visit the spot, she said that it was not their duty, but what they do is only informing the authorities concerned.”

However, Amrutha KP Coordinator of Childline in Payyanur said that as as soon as they received the call, they enquired about the incident and found that the child was safe. “If the child was harmed and if there was anything that would hurt him, we would have halted the procession, she said reports Times of India.

The police have not received any complaint in connection with the incident. “We haven’t received any complaint from anyone, neither we were informed about it,” Payyannur police told TNM. 

The picture has triggered debates on the social media with many people coming out against it.