Fake News Soared As Abhinandan Kept India On The Edge Of Its Seat

BOOM debunked fake news on Abhinandan ranging from fake accounts impersonating him to misinformation about his family.

The barrage of fake news surrounding Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman started to circulate on social media after news poured in that he had been captured by Pakistan on February 27, 2019. BOOM has curated a list of the most viral fake posts surrounding the IAF pilot.

1) No Woman In Viral Video Is Not Wing Commander Abhinandan's Wife

A video went viral claiming that Varthaman wife was asking Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders to not politicise the sacrifice of soldiers. BOOM found that the woman speaking in the video is Sirisha Rao, a volunteer with the Aam Aadmi Party in Gurgaon. Rao did not claim to be Varthaman's wife, however, her video went viral with the misleading claim. (Read more here)

2) Viral Poem Wrongly Attributed to IAF Pilot Abhinandan’s Sister

A poem titled 'My Brother with a Bloodied Nose' which goes on to narrate the ordeal the IAF pilot had to go through after his jet crashed in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) had gone viral with a false claim that it was written by Abhnindan's sister.



BOOM found that the viral poem was actually written by Varun Ram Iyer on February 27, 2019, the same day Abhinandan was captured. (Read more here)

3) Meet The Fake Accounts Impersonating Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

Several fake accounts were created on various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram impersonating Abhinadan.

BOOM highlighted these accounts whose usernames are a variation of the wing commander’s first name and the abbreviations — WC and or IAF. (Read more here.)

No, This Is Not Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Mother

Two images of an old woman get teary-eyed watching Imran Khan on television started doing the rounds of social media on February 28, 2019 as Abhinandan's mother, when Imran Khan announced that the IAF pilot in Pakistan’s custody would be released as a gesture of peace.

BOOM analysed the photos and found that the woman in the photo was not IAF pilot's mother as claimed. (Read more here)

5) Fake News Of Abhinandan Varthaman’s Father Joining Congress Goes Viral

A WhatsApp forward claiming Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s father retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman had joined the Indian National Congress (Congress) was doing the rounds on social media.

BOOM found that the posts were fake as the Congress party had no mention on its official social media handles about S Varthaman joining party fold. (Read more here)

6) Woman Posing With PM Modi Is Not IAF Pilot Abhinandan’s Wife

A viral photo posted on social media with the claim that Wing Commander Abhinandan’s wife met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

BOOM found that the woman in the viral photo is Jahnavi Das, wife of election strategist Prashant Kishor. (Read more here)

7) Viral Alert: This Is Not IAF Pilot Abhinandan Dancing With Pakistani Soldiers

A viral video of soldiers dancing had gone viral on social media with a false claim that the man dressed in the Air Force fatigues is none other than Abhinandan Varthaman.

BOOM analysed the video closely and found that none of the soldiers seen dancing in the video bear any resemblance to the IAF pilot. (Read more here)

8) Photoshopped Tweet Claims Arvind Kejriwal Offered Abhinandan Lok Sabha Seat

A screenshot of a tweet purporting to be from Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal offering Varthaman a Lok Sabha ticket if he took voluntary retirement.

BOOM found that the tweet was photoshopped as it had discrepancies like the font text does not match with the standard text font of twitter and Kejriwal did not tweet on the specified date mentioned in the tweet. (Read more here)

Indian Air Force Takes To Twitter To Clarify Abhinandan is Not On Social Media



Such is the extent of fake news on Wing Commander Abhinandan that the IAF took to Twitter to inform people to avoid following any fake accounts being used in his name

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