TIRUVANNAMALAI: Within hours after a shocking video of a group of youth giving liquor to a 4-year-old went viral on social media, the Tiruvannamalai police arrested two youth and launched a search for four others, including the child’s maternal uncle.
The video, which was a minute and 37 seconds long, was circulated on WhatsApp and social media like Facebook. In the video, a group of six to seven youth are seen asking a four-year-old boy to drink beer from a plastic cup. They also tell him to eat nuts kept in a plastic bag.
While the boy is seen sipping the beer, the men seated around him egg him on and ask him to keep drinking. They even laugh as the boy sips on with evident difficulty. At one point, the toddler shakes his hand signalling that he does not want to drink more, but the men tell him to down it quickly.
The boy is seen coughing and drinking water. After this, he takes the last sip and throws away the cup.
As the video spread, the police swung into action and launched a search for the men. A two-wheeler’s registration number spotted in the video led the police to the men. “We formed three special teams to trace the youth. We saw the vehicle registration number in the video (TN 25 AJ 8209) and traced it to Elumalai of Mel Cholankuppam village in Kadaladi police station limits,” R Ponni, Superintendent of Police, Tiruvannamalai, told Express. She added that they indulged in such an act in an inebriated condition.
Elumalai (23) is one of the six men seen in the video. The police also nabbed Premkumar (22) of the same village. During inquiry, the duo told the police that the incident occurred on June 30 near a lake in the village.
Police said that the boy was the nephew of one of the accused, Murugan, who had gone to play cricket with his friends and had taken the boy along.
They consumed liquor after a playing cricket and it was after this that they made the four-year-old drink what was left over, police said.
Police have launched a search for four others, including Rajaram, Murugan and Manikandan of the same village. The preliminary inquiry divulged that Premkumar captured the entire act and circulated it among his friends on WhatsApp and it was later uploaded on social media, including Facebook.
The boy’s parents had left him with his maternal grandmother Muniyammal and are working as construction workers in Chennai. The parents of the child said that they were not aware about the incident, said the SP.
Police registered a case against the six under section 25 (penalty for giving intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug or psychotropic substance to juvenile or child) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000. They are contemplating invoking section 307 (attempt to murder) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), said police sources.