Police in Uttar Pradesh have filed a FIR against fact-checker and Alt News co-founder Mohd Zubair for social media posts allegedly revealing the identity of the Muslim boy slapped repeatedly by his classmates on the orders of their school teacher who also appeared to make communal remarks.
On Friday the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had warned against revealing identities- particularly by sharing the video of the attack on the Class 2 student. NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo urged people to “not become part of the crime by revealing identity of the children”.
The video of the boy being slapped – he stands helplessly with tears running down his cheek as the teacher, Tripta Tyagi, makes communal remarks and urges classmates to hit harder – surfaced last week and triggered outrage, with opposition politicians targeting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
In the horrific video, loud slaps are heard as the students follow their teacher’s instruction. “Why don’t you hit harder? Whose turn is it?” Ms Tyagi can be heard in the gut-wrenching video.
The boy was humiliated and forced to stand for hours, his father told police.
“The teacher made the students beat my child again and again. My son was tortured for an hour or two. He is scared,” the father said after the incident, which took place on Thursday last week.
Ms Tyagi, who is also headmistress at the Neha Public School in UP’s Muzaffarnagar – also faces charges but has declared she is “not ashamed” of her actions. Speaking to NDTV, she justified her brutal actions, claiming it was necessary to “control” the children while at school.
She also dismissed controversy over a widely-circulated video of the assault on the Muslim boy, labelling it a “minor issue… unnecessarily turned into a big issue” and denied any communal angle.
The young boy was so traumatised he did not eat for two days and kept rambling at home, his father told NDTV. “We can only wonder what how such an incident can impact a small boy,” he said.
The boy was taken to Meerut for a medical check-up and is now better, his father added.
Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Aravind Mallappa Bangari said the FIR against Ms Tyagi was registered after the parents overcame their reluctance. The father had said he would not press charges against the school – which has been shut – but also that his son would not go the school.
Farmer leader Naresh Tikait later claimed he had brokered a compromise between the parents and the officials, and Mr Bangari then said, “Legal action (against Ms Tyagi) will be taken.