“This is the beginning of my loss"

Rumours calling me Jishas killer almost cost me my job
news Monday, June 06, 2016 - 14:44

“This is just the beginning of my loss,” says Thaslik KY, a sales professional based out of Paravaur in Ernakulam. During the past few days, Thaslik’s picture has been doing the rounds on social media and messaging platforms with people alleging that he resembled the man suspected of killing law student Jisha in Perumbavoor.

Thaslik, according to many bore similarities with the sketch of the key suspect and the comparison has now almost cost him a job.

Thaslik KY who acts in cameo roles in movies was asked to leave the project he was currently part of, he wrote on Facebook. Following his Facebook post that garnered him a lot of support, he was however asked to join the movie back.

 “This is the beginning of my loss. My goal is to become an actor. I had to do other jobs to feed my family. Now I have been thrown out of my current project. I thank all those who expressed their social responsibility by spreading the post on me,” he wrote.

Earlier, Thaslik had posted a video asking people not to harm people’s reputations without any proof.

“I may somehow survive this, but everyone may not be able to bear such torture. There should not be another Thaslik. If you have doubts you can approach police station, rather than smearing people on social media,” he said in the video.

It was on Friday that Kerala police released a sketch of the key suspect in the Jisha rape and murder case.

Hours after the drawing was put out in public domain, the photograph of Thaslik started taking rounds in social media.

On Saturday Thaslik had posted a FB status saying, “Please don't hurt anyone like this."

The investigating team collected his fingerprints after the posts went viral, but has not called Thaslik for any further questioning since then.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page called Changathikoottam published a post asking social media to not blindly share the pictures without verifying them and requested them to be thoughtful. 

"A young man's photo is being circulated widely suspecting him in the Jisha murder case. Those who are posting his photo do not have any idea about who the person is. They are doing this just because his picture bears a resemblance to the suspect's sketch released by the police. And others are simply imitating the rest. Instead of publicising the photo, they could have informed the police. If this boy is not the original culprit, then think about the consequences that he may have to face,” the post read. (Translated from Malayalam)

A similar case of mistaken identity created and fueled by social media users- in this case Redditors- dates back to the April 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. 

Soon after the FBI released the picture of a suspect, the Reddit community linked Sunil Tripathi, a then missing 22-year-old Boston University student, to the incident. 

The New York Times reported, "Minutes after the world first saw the suspects’ photos, a user on Reddit, the online community that is also one of the largest Web sites in the world, posted side-by-side pictures comparing Sunil’s facial features with the face that would later be identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev."

Though Pete Williams of NBC announced that Sunil was not a suspect, the report added, it did not wane speculations a bit with the boy's family receiving "hundreds of threatening and anti-Islamic messages (though they are not Muslim)".

Later that month, Sunil's body was found in the Providence River and Reddit general manager Erik Martin in a blogpost tendered an apology for the "dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties."

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