Six days after video of a six-year-old student guiding a police team to the house of his tutor during curfew went viral winning the boy praise for his honesty, Batala police has admitted that it inadvertently exposed the 18-year-old tutor to cruel trolling online.
While defending the DSP, who led the team, for his act of scolding the teacher outside her home, Batala SSP said the “video showing the teacher, who is a young girl, should not have gone on social media”.
The police, however, claims that the video was neither shot nor shared by it.
In the video, which has been widely shared since April 25, the boy, his uncle and a 7-year-old cousin, are stopped by a team of Batala police led by DSP (crime) Gurdeep Singh. Despite being signalled by his uncle to stay quiet, the boy leads DSP to a neighbourhood house, and knocks on the door saying: “Nandini didi gate kholo.” Later when the teacher tries to explain that kids’ parents are their family friends and they are not paid students, he again says: “Teen-teen aate hain (Three kids come here to study)”. Later, in the video, the DSP is seen scolding the teacher and her family members on camera for taking tuitions during curfew.
#Punjab viral video: #Nandini didi and her #tuitions. Six-yr old boy hailed for his honesty but Batala police exposes 18-year tutor to crude online trolling and harassment. We look at other side of this viral video @IndianExpress @iepunjab
— Divya Goyal (@divya5521) May 2, 2020
The boy has since been hailed on social media for his honesty. However, this is just one part of the story – a little boy helping police by speaking the truth. The flip side is an 18-year-old tutor facing relentless trolling on social media for police trying to make an example out of her.
The teacher, a graduation student who recently turned 18, says that she has been facing the brunt of crude comments after the video went viral.
On April 28, the DSP, in fact, visited her place to calm frayed nerves and later issued a video statement warning those trolling her of strict action.
“With regards to the video of tuition kids from Gurdaspur district which went viral, no one should troll teacher. If anyone will troll her, we will register FIR against him. We will take strict action,” he said in the video message.
Talking to The Indian Express Friday, the DSP said: “We never knew it will backfire this way. We just wanted to set an example for those parents who are still sending their children to tuition amid curfew. People started posting ridiculous comments on the teacher and then I visited her home to pacify her. I issued statement that whosoever will troll the teacher will be booked. We did not call media on the spot. Some local channels shot it and made it viral.”
But he maintained that he did nothing wrong by scolding the girl for teaching kids during lockdown, but added that video should not have being put on social media.
However, Nandini’s family says that the 18-year-old was targeted without any fault of her.
“She is such a bright student and has been a topper always. She knows how dangerous this virus is. They were not paid students. They are children of our family friends and it was only after their parents insisted that she had agreed to call them home to clear some doubts. She was mentally harassed by the comments that were made against her. However, we do not want to rake up this matter again as DSP sir visited our home and issued a statement that anyone who will pass comments against her will be booked,” her sister told The Indian Express, adding that the “innocent” six-year-old was not at fault either as he “only spoke the truth”.
The boy’s uncle, whose own daughter was seen in the video going to tuition, said that Nandini was not at fault. “Yes, our kid was honest and took police to her home, but she wasn’t taking money to teach our children. Kids were also wearing masks. A small matter has been blown out of proportion.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Batala SSP Opinderjit Singh Ghuman said that the video should not have been shot, but what DSP did was right. “The video wasn’t shot by police and never shared on our official Facebook page or any other handle of Batala police. It was done by local media. It was not wrong to scold the teacher and stop kids from going tuition amid curfew. It was for children’s safety and what DSP did was right. But I agree that video showing the teacher, who is a young girl, should not have gone on social media. Some really bad comments were passed on her. It is condemnable,” said the SSP.
Six days after the video went viral, the six-year-old, meanwhile, is now sure about not attending his tuition classes anytime soon. “Tuition to ab coronavirus ke baad jayenge,” he tells The Indian Express.
He is also sure about the threat coronavirus poses to everyone.
“Handwash karna chahiye, bheed bhaad mein mat jao, social distancing karni chahiye, logo se doori banao aur mask pehno (We should wash our hands, avoid crowded areas, practise social distancing and wear a mask),” he says.
As he rattles off steps to fight the deadly coronavirus, he quickly adds, “Coronavirus bada hi ganda virus hota hai.. isse kayi log mar bhi jaate hain.. (Coronavirus is a very bad virus. Several people even die of it).”
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