As a horrifying video went viral on Friday of a teacher in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district ordering students to slap a seven-year-old Muslim classmate, the police said they are investigating the matter.

“We will file the case after seeing the video and recording the statements of the child and his parents,” the sub-inspector at the Mansurpur police station told Scroll.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has also taken cognisance of the incident and “legal action is being taken”, the organisation’s chairperson, Priyank Kanoongo, said on the social media site X.

The child studied in the lower kindergarten at Neha Public School in Khubapur village, his parents told Scroll. His father, Irshad Tyagi, a farmer, identified the teacher as Tripta Tyagi.

In the video, after one student strikes the Muslim boy who is standing in front of the class, the teacher can be heard urging other students to get up and hit him harder. Off camera, a male voice can be heard approving the action.

“When my son came home yesterday he was crying,” said the boy’s mother, Rubina. “We didn’t take it seriously. We thought that the teacher must have punished him for not doing his home work. But when we saw the video we were shocked.”

The video was shot by Mohammad Nadeem, 25, the boy’s cousin. He said he had gone to the school to attend to some other business when he noticed the incident.

“I saw he was singled out and his classmates were slapping him as the teacher watched,” said Nadeem. “Then I made the video without anyone noticing. She was making anti-Muslim remarks.”

Said the boy’s father, “We don’t know why the teacher treated my son this way. It is sad she is making anti- Muslims remarks.”

He added, “Society is polarised. This Hindu-Muslim thing has reached schools as well.”

Kanoongo of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights asked social media users to refrain from sharing the video to protect the identities of both the boy and his classmates.

Addressing journalists later on Friday, Shubham Shukla, an officer in the Uttar Pradesh Basic Shiksha department, said that action would be taken against the teacher, the person in the video who is endorsing her action as well as the school’s management.