The Kerala government has come in support of 21-old-year Hanan Hamid, who became a victim of intense trolling on social media for selling fish to raise money for her studies and making ends meet.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday directed police to initiate action against those behind the abusive propaganda on social media platforms against the college student whose story went viral after a Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi reported about her struggles.
He also asked the Ernakulam district collector to provide adequate protection to Hanan, who sold fish in a local market at Thammanam in the city after college hours.
A final year BSc (Chemistry) student at a private college in Thodupuzha, Hanan's story was widely shared on social media by several people, including film artistes and politicians.
But, a section of social media users expressed doubts about her story and termed it as "fake", after which she was viciously trolled.
Coming down heavily on the cyber bullying, the chief minister said everyone should keep in mind that many propaganda on social media platforms were "double-edged swords".
"People should be more cautious while using social media. It is improper to circulate anything which they get through cyber platforms. This will only help push the society towards further danger," he said in a Facebook post.
Sharing a picture of Hanan selling fish in her college uniform on his Facebook page, Vijayan said he was proud of the student and the government was with her.
He also said that he wanted the entire state to support Hanan. "Hanan has not only tried to find resources for her studies but also to support her family by doing various jobs. Feeling proud of her after coming to know about her life's experiences. Extending whole-hearted support to Hanan to go forward", Vijayan added.
Marxist veteran VS Achutanandan also supported the woman, hailing from Thrissur, and demanded action against those behind the cyber attack.
Kerala women's commission chairperson MC Josephine termed the social media abuse as "cyber goondaism" and said police had been directed to register a case in this regard.
Meanwhile, Hanan said on Friday that she was thankful for the government's support.
She said she would like to continue with the fish business to look after her family and studies.
With the abusive comments pouring in on social media, a teary-eyed Hanan had on Thursday appealed to her critics with folded hands to leave her alone.
"I do not want any help. Kindly leave me alone and allow me to do any kind of menial jobs to earn my daily bread," she said.
Union minister KJ Alphons had come out in support of the student on Thursday and wrote on Twitter.
The tourism minister hailed the woman's attitude to do hard work and move forward in life. Alphons also referred to the difficulties faced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his teenage and said the latter fought against all odds to become the prime minister.
Hanan's college principal and neighbours came out in support of her and said the story published in the regional daily was not fake. Principal of Al Azhar college at Thodupuzha, SG Pillai, said though financial support was pouring in for her from various quarters, she had rejected it. He also deplored the "unjustified" and "insane" attack on Hanan on the social media.
Hearing Hanan's story, a filmmaker, Arun Gopy, offered her a role in his forthcoming movie starring Malayalam superstar Mohanlal's son Pranav Mohanlal. "I had commended her work. She is an inspiration to today's youngsters," he said. The trolls also targeted the filmmaker for such an offer, but Gopy remained firm on the offer.
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Updated Date: Jul 27, 2018 17:22:52 IST