Fact Check: Abhinandan Varthaman Not On Social Media, Accounts Are Fake

 
Fact Check: Abhinandan Varthaman Not On Social Media, Accounts Are Fake

NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman does not have a social media account, the Indian Air Force said today, attempting to bust the numerous fake accounts in his name that have cropped up recently.

"Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman does not have a social media account on any portal (Facebook /Instagram /Twitter). Please avoid following any fake accounts being used in the name of any IAF Airwarrior for spreading misinformation," the Indian Air Force tweeted, sharing the names of six fake accounts.

The six fake Twitter accounts busted by the Air Force go by these names: @IAFAbhinandanV, @abhinandanhere, @_pilotiaf, @WC_Abhinandan, @AbhiNandan_Wcdr, @W_abhinandan.

Several fake accounts on Facebook too have been created.

Wing Commander Varthaman, 34, was at the centre of public attention after he was captured by Pakistani forces last week after an air combat between the Indian Air Force and the Pakistani Air Force. The MiG-21 Bison fighter jet that he w was flying was shot down by Pakistani forces. He ejected and landed into the Pakistani side of the Line of Control, where he was captured.

Citizens and politicians across party lines stood as one and demanded his release. Social was abuzz with hashtags like #GivebackAbhinandan and #Abhinandanmyhero. He returned to a hero's welcome after Pakistan released him as a "peace gesture" last Friday.

Wing Commander Varthaman was lauded for his poise and courage during his 60 hours in Pakistan's captivity. His polite yet stern refusal to give more details than necessary, in now-deleted videos released in Pakistan  won him admiration in India.

The pilot, who is being treated at the military hospital in Delhi, has injured his ribs and lower spine, medical tests showed. He told senior Air Force officers that is he is raring to return to the cockpit.