Fake News Fake Viral

Suresh Chavhanke falsely claimed that Christian teacher flogged student for wearing “Rudraksha”

Written by Md Mahfooz Alam

Suresh Chavhanke, the editor-in-chief of the right-wing news channel, Sudarshan News posted a video on 17 October. In the 28-second-long video, the teacher can be seen holding the student by his hair, beating him with the stick and also kicking. Chavhanke claims that the Christian teacher beat up the Hindu student for wearing “Rudraksha”.

Facto News found that the claim made by the Chavhanke is false. Any communal angle to the video is misleading. The student was flogged and kicked by the teacher for not attending the class.

The video was first posted by the Twitter handle of the Sudarshan News on Saturday, 16 October. The caption along with the post reads: “तमिलनाडु के सरकारी स्कूल में इस हिंदू छात्र को इसलिए पीटा जा रहा है क्योंकि वह रुद्राक्ष पहने हुए था..!! ईसाई शिक्षक ने छात्र की क्रूरता से पिटाई की तथा स्कूल से भी भगा दिया..!! @mkstalin यही है आपकी सरकार का सेक्यूलरिज्म ? @BJP4TamilNadu @annamalai_k @Narayanan3.”

(Translation: 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..!! @mkstalin Is this the secularism of your government? @BJP4TamilNadu @annamalai_k @Narayanan3.)

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

At the time of writing this article, the video was viewed over 136 thousand times and retweeted over three thousand times.

Chavhanke posted the video on Twitter with the caption that reads: “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..!!”

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Mukesh Kumar, editor of the SudarshanNews posted the video with the caption that reads: “Now in Tamil Nadu Christian teacher has beaten up students for wearing Rudraksh and applying sandalwood on forehead… Complained to CM Stalin… Waiting for action.”

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Minakshi Shriyan, senior Journalist of Sudarshan News posted the same video with the caption that reads: तमिलनाडु के सरकारी स्कूल में रुद्राक्ष पहनने की छात्र को मिली सजा. ईसाई शिक्षक ने छात्र को पीटा, स्कूल से भी भगाया.” (Translation: Student punished for wearing Rudraksha in Tamil Nadu government school. Christian teacher beat up student, also drove him from school  )

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

However, Minakshi has now deleted the post.

FactO Check: 

Using relevant keyword search, we tried to find news reports related to the video. All the reports confirm that the incident is from the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. According to the NDTV, the incident took place in Government Nandanar Boys Higher Secondary School.

A 56-year-old physics teacher Mr. Subramniam assaulted the 17-year-old student. The student sustained an injury and was admitted to the government hospital. He has filed a police complaint with the video as evidence.

S. Sakthi Ganesan, Cuddalore Superintendent of Police, has told NDTV, “We have arrested the Physics teacher under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The investigation is on.” On being asked about the reason behind the excess committed by the teacher, he added, “It was a routine classroom activity over academics and the teacher had gone overboard as the student had not attended his classes.”

According to a news report about the incident in The Hindu. The student belongs to Dalit Community and he studies in class XII. The incident took place on Wednesday but it went viral on Thursday night after the students who shot the video shared it on social media.  After a preliminary inquiry by District Adi-Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Officer P. Chellapandi, Mr. Subramanian has been suspended.

According to the newspaper, a team led Mr. Chellapandi, found in the enquiry that Subramanian had assaulted and kicked the student. It was found that the 17-year-old student along with seven others had bunked the Physics class. The headmaster, Guganathan,  caught them bunking and took them to Subramanian.

The teacher caned and admitted the seven other students in the class, however, he flogged and kicked the Dalit student. While in the class, the Dalit student had asked permission from Subramanian for bringing his practical notebook. But, he went and joined seven other students who were not attending the class.

Conclusion:

The claim of the student being beaten by the teacher for wearing “Rudraksha” is false and misleading. The student was beaten for not attending the class.

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About the author

Md Mahfooz Alam

Mahfooz is a multimedia journalist and regularly writes fact-check stories for Facto News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as an intern fact-checker for The Quint. He specializes in research and fact-checking and aspires to do investigative reporting.

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