Images of a man lying on a seat inside a Kochi metro coach, with captions depicting him as drunk, were widely circulated on social media. It was later found that the man was speech and hearing impaired, and had fallen asleep on the metro.
The man, identified as Eldo from Angamaly in Ernakulam district, was returning home after visiting his younger brother at a hospital in Kochi.
The Kerala State Headload Workers Welfare Board employee was accompanied by his son Basil.
Images of Eldo lying on the metro seat went viral with the captions “pamp (snake) in metro”, and “what should be done with this person who brings a bad name for all Malayalis”. The word ‘pamp’ is used to describe a heavily drunk person in Kerala.
“My father was very sad after visiting his brother, who is battling for life at General Hospital, Kochi. After boarding the metro train, he dozed off on the seat. He was not drunk,’’ Basil told the media.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Social platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are filled with fake news and photos. Not only the persons who create these fake images, even those who forward them are guilty.”
Referring to a similar incident of “social media trial” of one Salim in Delhi Metro two years ago, he said, “Both these persons are victims of human rights violation and public trial.
The State Commissioner For Persons with Disabilities on Sunday ordered a probe into the matter. Commissioner Dr G Harikumar said the cyber cell was asked to look into the circumstances that led to the circulation of the images and their wrong interpretation.
Kochi Metro offered Eldo a free pass worth Rs 2,000.