Hailed for coming to the aid of Indians in distress abroad, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday discovered that a “kidnapped” man in Serbia who she tried to help had staged his own abduction.
Hours after she responded to a call for rescuing an Indian allegedly abducted and tortured in Serbia, the Union minister said on Thursday the kidnapping was “stage-managed” and the video was “fake”.
Swaraj intervened after she was approached by a netizen who tweeted: “@SushmaSwaraj please help my brother his life in big trouble somebody kidnap in Serbia country and ask him send the money unless we kill him.”
The video accompanying the tweet showed a shirtless man with his hands tied, being beaten up with a baton.
Swaraj later tweeted, “Vinay Mahajan has been found and is in safe custody of Serbian authorities.
“Mr Luther - This is because of the agent who sent him there. This agent deserves exemplary punishment. @ProtectorGenGOI,” she said in a series of tweets.
In a series of tweets, Swaraj confirmed that the man was found in the custody of Serbian police. She said he was released after the Indian high commission intervened, and is dure to return on March 25.
In response to the original SOS, Swaraj posted: “Rajiv - I have all the facts before me. Your brother was not abducted.”
Reacting to a separate complaint of nearly 500 Indian workers being deprived of salaries in Bahrain, she tweeted: “Indian Embassy in Bahrain is seized of this matter and will help them.”