Saturday, June 06, 2020

Hate Targets Trainee Pilot In A Case of “Mistaken identity”

Hate came to his door in the form of abuse and threats, and within hours he found himself
without a job. Or at least so he fears as he still has to get written intimation from the airlines he works with.
Asif Khan, a trainee first officer with GoAir was woken up a couple of days ago with the airline management asking him whether he had a Twitter Account and whether he had misused it. “I said no, of course not and rushed to check,” he said and that's when all hell broke loose as far as he is concerned.
He found he was ‘trending on Twitter’ through a BoycottGoAir hashtag for vicious tweets against Hindu gods from an account also under the name Asif Khan. And the target of a volley of unending hate and abuse, where even his mother and sister were dragged into the campaign with threats of rape and assault.
Shocked beyond belief, the young trainee pilot said he immediately saw that the account was not his, and informed the company as well as all those who had been asking him. “I was not terribly worried at the first stage as I thought it was not me and once the confusion is cleared there will be no problem,” he said.
But that was not to be. As something called Buzzing Trends channel posted a quick video, taking photographs from trainee pilot Asif Khan’s Facebook page and identifying him as the person responsible for the ugly tweets hitting at Hindu religious sentiments in completely unacceptable and nasty language.The family started pointing out the case of mistaken identity in the comments section and Khan said that eventually the channel realised the mistake and withdrew the video. By this time Khan said, “I knew it was all very serious.”
The alleged imposter called himself Asif Khan of course, with a different photograph from the trainee first officer, a different profile by and large, and of course a different photograph. The confusion arose from the fact that he described himself as “cabin Crew at @Goairlinesindia”. He described himself with “Love Politics, student of political science, supporter of Capitalist ideology, Secular by nature and not an andh bhakt”. The Twitter account has since been deleted and the trainee pilot has no idea who this person is. He has urged the Cyber Cell in a formal complaint to look into this, and is currently drafting letters to all the possible authorities to clear his name. He has lodged a police case as well.
“My family has not slept for two nights, my mother is so scared, I myself am so tense as I don't even know whether I have a job any more,” he told The Citizen. His father is ill, and the family he said is extremely stressed out.
Khan’s twitter handle describes him as “Pilot by profession, Traveller, Entrepreneur, Artist , Human INDIAN, Special like each of us with a destiny even more special. Stay Weird. Unlike the other account that has a handle @MdAsif35534489 his is @FarOutAsif.
06/06/20 The Citizen
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