On August 28, the police filed an FIR against Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, for assertedly revealing the individuality of the child. After three days, the video was rapidly circulated online and on various social media platforms. A spreading video of a boy who sparked widespread criticism last week due to the teacher in Uttar Pradesh telling other students to slap a seven-year-old Muslim.
On August 25,in the evening, the video was posted on X, formerly known as Twitter by Zubair but the chairperson of the national child rights body Priyank Kanoongo stated that the child’s identity shouldn’t be revealed. The video took it down within a few hours after this statement was made. Not only Zubair shared the video on social media but the video was also circulated on various social media platforms by activists, news outlets, journalists and anchors of news channels.
Even in the past Zubair was pointed for his communal claims and rigorous fact checking and verification calling out false. He was also arrested and put into jail for about 3 weeks for a complaint raised by an unknown Twitter user that Zubair’s Tweet from 2018, from a 1983 bollywood movie, relating to an image that hurt the ‘religious sentiments’.
The incident involves a video shot by a seven-year-old’s cousin, showing Tripta Tyagi, owner of Neha Public School in Muzaffarnagar, encouraging classmates to hit the boy with derogatory remarks about Muslim students. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights initiated legal action and urged not to share the video for the child’s privacy. Zubair, a social media user, posted the video prompting others to share it. Tyagi faced charges, and later, Zubair too faced legal action for sharing the video of the child, with possible punishment under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Police investigated Zubair’s involvement and considered the duration of the tweets. Opposition parties condemned the incident, leading to the police filing charges against Tyagi. Farmer leader Naresh Tikait brokered a compromise between Tyagi and the boy’s family, resulting in shared videos of the children speaking to media and hugging. This incident highlights the complexities of sharing sensitive content online, invoking child rights protection and raising concerns about censorship on social media in India.