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Kerala CM orders probe into cyber bullying of woman college student selling fish for living

Hanan, who sold fish in a local market at Thammanam in the city after college hours, was viciously trolled on social media.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2018 22:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala college student,Hanan,Kerala government
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has 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.(HT/File Photo)

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday ordered a probe into the cyber bullying of a woman college student in Kochi who sells fish for a living after college hours.

The student, Hanan Hamid , 21, was targeted by trolls who said she was putting on an act. Hamid took them on with a “why me” retort.

Vijayan directed the Ernakulam district collector to provide help to Hamid and the Kochi Corporation promised to give her a kiosk to vend fish. Vijayan said her endeavour to support her family and pursue her studies at the same time was a matter of pride.

“I have asked the Ernakulam collector to provide protection and I request the state to stand with the gutsy girl,” he wrote on his Facebook post.

Union minister of state for tourism KJ Alphons also commended Hamid and came down hard on the trolls. “Kerala sharks stop attacking #Hanan. I am ashamed. Here is a girl trying to put together a shattered life. You vultures!,” he wrote in a Facebook post. Film-maker Arun Gopi has offered her a role in his upcoming film.

Hamid was in the limelight recently after a Malayalam daily carried a report depicting her struggle to come up in life. Although the story was an instant hit, some sections couldn’t digest it and began a virulent campaign and alleging that “she was acting in real life for reel roles”.

How can a jeans-clad woman sell fish, they asked, and cited the bit roles she played in some Malayalam movies. Some others too found fault with the way she dressed, and warned her not to identify herself as a Muslim.

When the attacks mounted, she broke down before the media, saying she had been struggling to come up in life since she was a child and had never hankered for cheap publicity or help.

“I don’t know why I was targeted like this,” she said, adding that she had also sold flowers and played bit roles in movies and was now vending fish for a living.Her father, an alcoholic, left the family when she was young and her mother has been suffering mental ailments.

State women’s commission chairperson MC Josephine has directed the cyber cell to book her tormentors immediately. “Our society has to change a lot. Sad, people are concerned with her dress, not her struggle,” she said.

A final-year undergraduate student in a private college, Hamid told a TV channel that her day starts at 3 am. After an hour of study, she cycles from her rented house to the wholesale fish market that is four km away.

After buying fish, she stores them at a friend’s place and goes to college. After her classes, she said, she comes back to the market to sell the fish she bought in the morning. She said she earns Rs 500-700 every day.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 17:00 IST