New Delhi, Aug 28: Amid reports of an impending Western military strike on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons, a fake Twitter account of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid caused a flutter Wednesday after saying that India was talking to Britain over the crisis.
The Indian government complained to the San Francisco-headquartered company and the account was blocked within hours.
The fake Twitter handle @IndiaMEA complete with a picture of the external affairs minister, had the post: “@IndiaMEA: Phone talks with British FM W.Hague. Intervention against Syria to start tonight. India expressed concerns.”
Soon the Twitter account of India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin was flooded with queries asking if the news was true.
@AkbarMEA, the Twitter handle of the official spokesperson, replied to all queries saying: “The handle @IndiaMEA is a fake one masquerading as Minister Khurshid’s account. He does not have a Twitter handle.” And “@IndiaMEA is a fake account and has been reported to @Twitter.”
Within a few hours, the imposter handle was blocked with the message “Sorry! That page does not exist!”
The fake posting caused All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, with Twitter account @asadowaisi, to ask @Akbar MEA: “sir I am sure the GOI is keeping an eye on Syrian crisis as more than 5 million Indians work in that region.”
A discerning Twitter account posted: “Seems improbable that India’s foreign minister wd spill military secrets divulged in a private phone call on Twitter”.
Another account, going as Ranchordas @ControversyChat , posted sarcastically: “@IndiaMEA So now you have started giving breaking news to the world :)”