The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has handed over a free pass worth Rs 2,000 to Angamaly native Eldho, who was victimised by the social media after a photo of him lying down in a metro coach went viral.

KMRL managing director Elias George handed over the Kochi 1 smart card, recharged with Rs 2,000 to Eldho at the Palarivattom station on Friday.

Also read: This is the truth behind viral image of man sleeping in Kochi Metro

Someone took a photo of Eldho, who is hearing and speech impaired, when he was lying down on a seat inside a Kochi Metro coach last week, following some physical discomfort. The picture was circulated widely on social media, mainly WhatsApp and Facebook, with the caption "snake in Kochi Metro", a reference to a person in an inebriated state.

Eldho, a staff at the headload workers' welfare board, was reluctant to go to office after the episode, his relatives said. Associations of differently abled persons demanded a probe against those who clicked his photo and circulated it on social media.

General public, celebrities and politicians including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sharply reacted to the post, after it was found that the man was differently abled. The CM equated the incident with the "social media trial" of Delhi-based police constable Salim, hailing from Kerala, in the Delhi Metro two years ago. Pinarayi had said both Eldho and Salim were victims of human rights violation and public trial.

The video had showed Salim struggling to hold on to a pole while swinging back and forth inside the metro coach, which was inferred as him being drunk. However, it emerged later that Salim was losing consciousness because of a major blockage in his brain at that time.