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IT ministry asks Youtube to remove 11 videos of IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman who is in Pakistan’s captivity

Pakistan authorities held wing commander Abhinandan in captivity after his MIG 21 bison crashed in PoK yesterday while attempting to hunt back Pakistan Air Force fighters which had entered the Indian air space attempting to attack the Indian military bases.

Following a directive from the Home Ministry, the Information and Technology ministry has asked Youtube today to remove 11 video links pertaining to Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistan army following air combat on Wednesday.

A Google (which runs Youtube) spokesperson said that the company abides by “valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our longstanding policy and act quickly to remove such material”, adding that the “data on government requests to remove content from Google services is regularly updated in our transparency report.”

Meanwhile, sources from the IT Ministry confirmed that all the links pertaining to the videos which were circulating on social media extensively have been removed by Youtube.

Pakistan authorities held wing commander Abhinandan in captivity after his MiG-21 Bison crashed in PoK yesterday while attempting to hunt back Pakistan Air Force fighters which had entered the Indian air space attempting to attack the Indian military bases.

Following India’s air strike on terror camps in Pakistan on the early hours of 26th February, more than 20 Pakistan Air Force fighters, according to latest reports by the MEA, had tried to enter the Indian air space, but they were chased back by Indian Air Force MiG-21 jets which were on Combat Air Patrol (CAP) at that time. Indian jets had shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan, while a MiG-21 had crashed inside Pakistan controlled Kashmir and subsequently commander Abhinandan who was flying the jet fell prey to the Pakistanis.

In the aftermath of the crash, the Pakistan Army, violating the norms under the Geneva Convention, released the videos of Indian fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman being captured and interrogated under captivity.

The videos circulated online showed the pilot pulled from the wreckage and was beaten by the mob before the Pakistan Army dispersed the mob. Another video had shown him revealing his identity as asked by the Pakistani military officers. In another video, the brave Indian soldier was shown sipping his tea while refusing to answer specific questions about his aircraft and mission.

These videos started widely being circulated on Social media platforms like Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube and Facebook.

On Wednesday, India Government had rightly pointed out that Pakistan breached norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention by its ‘vulgar display of injured personnel’.

In its demarche, India noted, “India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of injured personnel of the Indian Air Force in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return.”

In the latest, Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan has confirmed the release Wing Commander Abhinandan tomorrow “as a peace gesture”. However, if Pakistan is assuming that India would submit to this eyewash, Pakistan is highly mistaken as India has already cleared its stand that for any talks to take place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan, first, Imran Khan needs to take ‘Immediately, credible and verifiable’ action against terrorism that breeds on its soil.

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