External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday exposed a concocted story of an Indian "kidnapped" in the central European nation of Serbia, saying it was a stage-managed act.
Responding to a tweet by a person named Rajeev Sharma that his brother Vinay Mahajan had been kidnapped in Serbia and the kidnappers were threatening to kill him unless paid money, Sushma Swaraj said that Mahajan had been found and was in safe custody of Serbian authorities.
However, later on Thursday evening, Sushma Swaraj tweeted that the abduction was stage-managed and she knew the whole truth of the matter.
"Rajiv - I have all the facts before me. Your brother was not abducted," she tweeted.
"He stage-managed his own abduction and the video is fake," she said.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 23, 2017
"However, @Indiainserbia intervened and your brother has been released by Serbian Police. He is returning on 25 March."
Sushma Swaraj also retweeted a video by Sharma sent on Wednesday showing the said Mahajan allegedly being ill-treated by the so-called kidnappers.
In confusing tweets, Sharma first claimed that his brother was kidnapped in Serbia and the kidnappers were asking for money or else they would kill him.
The minister responded that Indian Ambassador to Serbia Sanjay Verma said that Mahajan had been found and was in the safe custody of Serbian authorities.
Sharma later tweeted that Mahajan had entered a refugee camp in Serbia, as guided by an agent.
Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, Serbia became an independent republic in 2006 when the Balkan country crumbled.
According to the Indian Embassy in Belgrade, there are only a handful of NRIs and persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in Serbia and there is no Indian community association there.
(With IANS inputs)