Sudarshan news channel had tweeted the false claim that the teacher beat up the student over wearing a ‘rudraksha’ (prayer beads). However, the police have debunked this.

Screengrab from the video from Chidambaram of a teacher beating a student, with a screenshot of a fake tweet by Sudarshan news
news Fact Check Monday, October 18, 2021 - 12:49

Hindi news channel Sudarshan News on Sunday shared a video clip of a student being beaten up in a classroom with the claim that he was beaten up by his ‘Christian teacher’ for wearing a ‘rudraksha’ (Hindu prayer beads). The editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News Suresh Chavhanke also tweeted a misleading claim, saying, “This Hindu student is being beaten up in a government school in Tamil Nadu because he was wearing “Rudraksha”..!! Christian teacher brutally beat up the student and also banished him from school..!!” However, this claim is fake and misleading, as the details from a different incident have been shared with a video from a separate incident. 

The video of the student being thrashed was reported from the Government Nandanar Boys High School located in Chidambaram on Friday, October 11. In the video, the student can be seen kneeling down and the teacher is seen using a stick or a cane to thrash him. The teacher can also be seen pulling the student’s hair while kicking him with his feet. The video of the incident was recorded on a phone by two students inside the class. 

The teacher has been identified as Subramanian, who teaches physics, and police say that he beat up the student for not attending his classes. After the video went viral, the teacher was arrested and since the student who was beaten up was Dalit, the teacher was also booked under sections of the SC/ST Act. 

“The teacher beat up the student for not coming to his classes. After the video emerged of the incident, the teacher was arrested and has been remanded. He was booked under sections of SC/ST Act and relevant sections of the IPC. There is no communal angle in this,” Deputy Superintendent of Police in Chidambaram told TNM.  The police have arrested the teacher under various sections including Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code as well as Section 75 of the JJ Act (Punishment for cruelty to child) read with sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The teacher has been sent to judicial custody.

After Suresh Chavhanke’s tweet went viral, police officials in Tamil Nadu have also flagged the misleading claim to Twitter India. The police have ruled out any communal angle in the video of the student being beaten up. However, in a separate incident that took place in the state last week — the parents of a child studying at the Anderson school in Kanchipuram district had complained that a teacher named Joyson had asked their son not to sport religious symbols like vibhuti or rudraksha in class and had barred them from entering. A complaint was filed against the teacher and an inquiry has been launched. 

Earlier, after visuals of the Chidambaram incident were shared on social media, the headmaster of the school had also told TNM that the students were beaten up for skipping class. Speaking to TNM, the headmaster of the government school had said, “The eight students came to school on Wednesday and attended the first hour. But as it was physics class in the second hour and because Subramanian, the teacher, conducts daily class tests, these eight students decided to skip the class.” The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had written to the Cuddalore District Collector to take action in the case after the video went viral.

At the time of writing, Sudarshan News had not removed the tweet despite many objecting to it on social media, including DMK Dharmapuri MP Dr Senthilkumar.

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