The Indian Air Force on Wednesday said that its pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who returned to India after being captured by Pakistan last week, does not have an account on any social media website – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The air force also tweeted a list of fake accounts which had been operating in the name of Varthaman.
These accounts include “IAFAbhinandanV, abhinandanhere, @_Pilotiaf, @WC_Abhinandan, @AbhiNandan_Wcdr, and @W_abhinandan”, the air force said. “Please avoid following any fake accounts being used in the name of any IAF air warrior for spreading misinformation,” it appealed to people.
At the time of writing, Twitter had suspended the accounts @_Pilotiaf, @IAFAbhinandanV, @abhinandanhere and @W_abhinandan. A search for @WC_Abhinandan did not return any results. However, other Twitter handles, such as @WcAbhinandan2, @wcabhin and @WngCmAbhinandan seem to have cropped up.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after February 14, when 40 security personnel were killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad.
India and Pakistan on February 27 claimed that they had shot down each others’ fighter jets, a day after the Indian Air Force had struck a Jaish terror camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. India said Pakistan had attempted to target military installations in Jammu and Kashmir. Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 Bison was shot down inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during the operation. Pakistan released him on March 1.