Sudarshan News, known for its communally charged pro Hindutva and anti-minorities coverage, tweeted a video of a student being thrashed by a teacher in Tamil Nadu, and falsely claimed that the teacher was a Christian who flogged the student for wearing rudraksh - a type of Hindu prayer beads
BOOM found that the claim is false and the arrested accused is M Subramaniam and he thrashed the student for skipping class.
According to news reports, the incident is from the Government Nandanar Boys High School in Chidambaram district of Tamil Nadu where a teacher was recorded on video thrashing the student said to be a minor aged 17. The video shows the teacher beating the kneeling student violently with a stick and also pulling the student's hair while kicking him. According to The News Minute report, the student is a class 12 student and the arrested accused teaches physics.
The same false claim was made by the channel's Editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke who BOOM has fact checked in the past for spreading false communal disinformation.
Chavhanke tweeted the video with the false claim that, "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..!!"
View an archive of the tweet here
The channel also made a similar false claim from its verified Twitter handle.
View an archive of the tweet here
Right leaning site OpIndia also reported the incident and citing unidentified sources said, "Sources also claim that the class 12 student was beaten by the Christian school teacher only because the boy wore rudraksh and applied sandalwood on the forehead."
CLAIM 1 - Christian Teacher Beat Up A Hindu Student
Rating - False
Fact - The teacher has been identified as M Subramaniam who taught physics at the school
Multiple media reports about the incident identify the accused teacher as M Subramanian who taught physics at the Government Nandanar Boys High School located in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
A report by the wire agency ANI also said the Cuddalore collector has ordered a probe for the incident and set up an enquiry against the physics teacher, since the incident happened at a government school.
The TNM also quoted a Deputy Superitendent of Police from Chidambaram as saying that there is no communal angle to the incident. "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."
The reports further said, the 56-year-old teacher MSubramanian has been arrested since the incident and charged under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
CLAIM 2 - The Student Was Beaten Up For Wearing Rudraksh
Rating - False
Fact - The student was beaten up for skipping the physics class
The second viral claim being shared with the video is that the student was beaten up for wearing Rudraksh beads (religious beads worn by Hindus) to school.
BOOM checked media reports and found that none of them carried this claim. Times Of India reported that the class 12 student had sought permission from Subramanian to go fetch his physics notebook from his house but was later found by the headmaster of the school, chatting with seven other students who had skipped the class. The story further said that the teacher Subramanian beat up all the eight students with a cane but was "particularly harsh was particularly harsh on the student who lied to him..."
The News Minute quoted the headmaster of the Tamil Nadu government school saying that the eight students attended the first hour of school on Wednesday but decided to skip the physics class because a test was scheduled. The TNM story quoting the headmaster reported, "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. During my rounds, I saw these students sitting on the second floor of the school and brought them back to the class and requested the teacher to allow them to attend his class. Subramanian questioned the students for skipping the class and subsequently went on to hit them. The video of him beating a student was recorded by two boys of the same class."
A Separate Incident From Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu
A search for the key words, 'Tamil Nadu teacher harassing students for sporting rudraksh' led us to reports on several unverified right wing websites, claiming parents of two children had allegedly filed a complaint with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Special Cell against a teacher of a school in Kancheepuram district. Using this we ran a search on Twitter for the same and found a tweet by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) spokesperson, Kovai Sathyan where he had shared a letter in Tamil written by two parents and addressed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. BOOM could not independently verify details of the alleged incident
We translated the text in the letter and found that it says, "Two of our sons studying Class 10 in Anderson High School Kanchipuram was beaten and abused by class teacher Joyson for wearing the rukrash around their neck and ashes on the forehead. They were told only rowdies and other miscreants were these things and were not allowed to enter the classroom. Other students were also invited to hit them on their head. They are now too scared to go to school. We request you to take action on the school teach and administration."
BOOM could not find any credible news reports about the alleged incident from Kanchipuram
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