Google-owned YouTube on Thursday removed 11 objectionable video links of Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman after the IT Ministry asked the video streaming platform to do so. An IT Ministry official told IANS that it had asked YouTube to remove 11 video links related to Wing Commander Varthaman who was captured by the Pakistani army on Wednesday after his MiG plane was shot down and fell across the border during a dogfight.
"We comply with valid legal requests from authorities wherever possible, consistent with our long-standing policy and act quickly to remove such material," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Data on government requests to remove content from Google services is updated periodically in our transparency report," the spokesperson added.
The captured IAF pilot will be freed on Friday "as a peace gesture", Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Thursday. India had earlier demanded the immediate release of the Indian MiG-21 Bison pilot - who shot down a Pakistani F-16 - and ruled out talks on the issue, saying Pakistan cannot use it as a deal. "India also strongly objected to Pakistan's vulgar display of an injured personnel of the IAF in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention.
"It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return," the MEA said in a statement.