Sudarshan News tweeted a video on October 16 that shows a teacher beating a pupil in class. The channel claimed that a Christian teacher in Tamil Nadu brutally beat up a Hindu student for wearing a rudraksha (prayer beads used by Hindus, especially devotees of Shiva). The post amassed over 3,500 retweets as of this writing. (Archive link)

Suresh Chavhanke, editor-in-chief of Sudarshan News, also tweeted the visuals with the same claim, which garnered more than 3,700 retweets. (Archive link)

The video is widespread on Facebook and Twitter.

Fact-check

Sudarshan News has shared the video with distorted context. The incident occurred in Tamil Nadu’s Chidambaram village where a Dalit student of Nandanar Government Boys Higher Secondary School was beaten up by a teacher. The matter came to light after the other students in the classroom took a recording on their mobile phones and shared it online.

An October 15 report by The Hindu quoted a police official as saying that the headmaster was taking rounds of the school when he noticed the student in question was not attending class. He took the boy to the classroom and complained to his physics teacher Subramanian, who thrashed the 17-year-old boy as a punishment. The teen sustained injuries on his thigh as a result of the beating and had to be admitted to the hospital. The police arrested the teacher after the student filed a complaint. He was booked under relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice Act and the SC/ST Act.

News agency ANI along with The Free Press Journal also identified the teacher who beat up the student as Subramanian.

Separate incident where student wore Rudraksha

The Hindu Tamil reported on October 16 that a teacher in Kancheepuram allegedly disallowed a student to enter the classroom as he was wearing a rudraksha. The report also mentioned that the teacher allegedly hit the student on the head. According to ABP Tamil, teachers from the school stated that students were prohibited from wearing neck jewellery or earrings. The principal of the school said that a proper investigation will be carried out in the matter. In the complaint filed with the police, the parents of the student said that both their sons attend Anderson High School in Kanchipuram and one of them was not allowed to enter the classroom as he was wearing a rudraksha. The letter also claimed that the student was beaten by the teacher, Joyson. AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathya tweeted a picture of the complaint letter.

ETV Bharat also published a report identifying the teacher as Joyson.

Sudarshan News, therefore, took bits from an actual incident and injected a false communal spin to a separate incident depicted in the viral video.

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