Beware of fake Twitter handles of new CDS, veterans and serving military officers say

A fake Twitter handle @GenAnilChouhan was created soon after Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan was appointed India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Wednesday. Veterans, including Lt. Gen. K.J.S. Dhillon (retd) has warned against following this handle. “It is likely being operated by enemies of the country. Don’t follow…. Report. Jai Hind,” Dhillon, popularly known as Tiny Dhillon despite his towering personality and physique, said.

Lt. Gen. Dhillon (retd) ought to know as he was DG, Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief (Intelligence) of Integrated Defence Staff under the Chief of Defence Staff.

The handle that may be followed by several others, is clearly an attempt to confuse Twitterati on matters of national security by posting controversial statements. In all probability, this is the handiwork of Pakistani bots active on social media.

“The language is a giveaway. It is the kind of English we are used to hearing from Pakistani cricketers.

“Thank you for appointed as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. will always work for giving new energy and momentum to the Indian Defance and for the welfare of the country.”

This is what the post in the handle with a DP of Lt. Gen. Chauhan states.

“It also has the press release from the Ministry of Defence on appointment of India’s new CDS. It is pathetic that Pakistan doesn’t even realise that Indian military officers don’t make such grammatical errors,” another veteran said.

A serving officer said that the matter has already been reported and Twitter needs to be very careful of such bogus handles that could affect national security.

One of the primary jobs of the CDS is to liaison between the armed forces and the government. Any fake comment can lead to trouble and unrest across the country.

“We witnessed this after the Asia Cup India Pakistan cricket match at Dubai. Indian bowler Arshdeep Singh was allegedly trolled by Indian Twitterati after India lost the match. It turned out that Pakistani bots were involved. Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia details were also tampered with by hackers in Pakistan. Fortunately, the government of India reacted fast and thwarted this effort to create a divide between Hindus and Sikhs in India,” he said.

Another serving officer said that the media has to be more responsible.

“In the Arshdeep case, a mischief maker and trouble mongerer who was behind the bars till recently circulated screenshots of alleged trolls by Indians. A section of the mainstream media picked it up. They should have cross-checked,” he said.

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