Terminated GoAir employee files FIR against ‘imposter for using his identity to post anti-Hindu comments’

By Nazish Hussain, TwoCircles.net

Mumbai: After GoAir airlines on Thursday terminated the employment of a trainee pilot for failing to comply with the company rules on social media behaviour, the employee Asif Khan has filed an FIR at Mohada Police Station Sakinaka in Mumbai against the “alleged imposter who posted derogatory comments against Hindu deities.”

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In his complaint letter before the police, 30-year-old Asif has demanded the arrest of the imposter for using anti-Hindu comments using Asif’s identity credentials on Twitter.

GoAir had on Thursday said that, “The airline does not associate itself with personal views expressed by any individual or employee. With immediate effect GoAir is terminating the employment contract of the trainee first officer.”

Asif said that it all started on 4 June afternoon when he got a call from his senior captains concerning his Twitter handle asking him if he has recently posted anything on Twitter and he responded that he hasn’t. Worried by the sudden inquiry, Asif went online to enquire about the matter and to his surprise found #BoycottGoAir is trending.

“I found that a Twitter handle with my name Asif Khan has made derogatory comments against Hindu deities. I was shocked to see all this,” he said.

fake twitter account

Asif said that although the Twitter handle has his name but everything else is different. “The profile picture is different, the ID is different, even the description is different. The description of the imposter mentions being cabin crew, while I am a pilot. It’s a totally different person,” says Asif.

Convinced that its case of mistaken identity, Asif felt relaxed. But it was not to be, he said.

Minutes later, Asif found out that a YouTube channel ‘Buzzing Trends’ posted a video using Asif’s picture and linked the derogatory tweet to his Facebook account.

“After the video surfaced, everybody started commenting on my profile, abusing me and trolling me and giving rape threats against my sister and mother. Everyone in my family was scared seeing this stuff,” he said.

Asif and his family went on YouTube and commented on the comment section of the video calling it incorrect and asking the channel to do a fact check. The family pointed out that it was not their son who they have wrongly mentioned in their video. Following this, the channel Buzzing Trends took the video down.

The same evening, GoAir informed through their Twitter handle that they have terminated Asif for ‘not complying with the company’s social media behaviour.’

“I got really scared that my job is in danger,” said Asif.

Asif took to Facebook the following day on 5 June wherein he complained of receiving death threats and rape threats against his sister and mother. Detailing the matter, Asif said that he, “immediately went to my local police station to lodge a formal complaint about this matter.”

In his Facebook post, Asif maintained that he was innocent and that someone else was using his name and posting derogatory comments against the Hindu deities.

“My only request is to please investigate this matter fairly and swiftly because this whole matter has put a huge stress on me and my family especially my dad who is very ill at this moment. I trust our Judicial System and I trust my company GoAir to deal with this matter swiftly and sensitively. I am willing to Co-operate by whatever means possible in this investigation to help nab the culprit,” Asif wrote.

To substantiate his claim, Asif attached screenshots of the imposter’s Twitter profile and his own Twitter profile. He also included a picture of the complaint filed before the Sakinaka Police Station.

Asif told TwoCircles.net that he only wants everyone to know his side of the story. “Everyone is blaming me for something I did not do nor I could ever do such a thing. I just want everyone to know that this is not me and stop abusing me and my family,” he said.

Asif said that he landed the job at GoAir airlines after a lot of struggle and hard work and he doesn’t want to lose it.

“I have been struggling to get this job for the last six years. I could have let it go but my heart was in it so I kept trying and finally got it this year in January. I am very sad and nervous about this job being taken away from me,” he said.

Asif received his pilot training from Australia. “It was not an easy journey for me and my family as it drained a lot of money in doing so. The pilot training is a very costly course. For a long time, there was no vacancy for pilot jobs. I tried in many airlines to get a job. Whenever there was an opportunity I kept trying. I kept studying for exams and interviews and faced all the tough competitions,” he said, and added, “I did another course of typewriting which drained another 15 lakhs. After all this struggle, I got an opportunity when GoAir had a vacancy in 2019. They have very tough exams. After clearing all the exams, I got my first job after 6-7 years.”

While Asif’s friends have expressed their support on social media, Asif said that the time has been ‘hell’ for him and his family. “My family has been worried and asking me to don’t take any wrong steps. I know that I will not harm myself or anything like that. I have to be strong for my family,” said Asif.

Asif said that he had been trying to get the FIR registered against the imposter on the same day the tweets and video surfaced. “However, being unaware of the FIR procedure, it took me long,” he said.

The FIR was finally registered two days later on 6 June under IPC 500 (punishment for defamation), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 66 IA Act (sending information that is grossly inoffensive, false and meant for the purpose of causing annoyance, meant to deceive or mislead).

Hoping for justice Asif said that he wants the police to take the necessary steps to catch the culprit. “I hope the Police will find the culprit because that would prove my innocence and GoAir will take me back.