India has subpoenaed Wikipedia management after the national cricketer’s page on the online encyclopedia was edited after a match against rivals Pakistan to claim he was linked to the Sikh separatist movement, a government source said on Monday. Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh has drawn the ire of many social media users since he dropped a simple catch in the closing stages of the thrilling India-Pakistan match on Sunday.
Singh’s Wikipedia page said on Sunday that the Sikh cricketer, born in the northern Indian state of Punjab, had been selected to play for Khalistan, referring to an independent Sikh state sought by some groups but which does not exist. A senior government source said the federal Department of Information Technology (IT) had summoned Wikipedia management over the incident, without elaborating. India’s IT ministry and Wikipedia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A government panel would question Wikipedia about how the online encyclopedia is edited and how edits like those made to Singh’s page could be allowed. “The modifications were traced back to servers in neighboring countries and may cause serious damage to India’s internal peace and national security,” the newspaper quoted a government official as saying.
Written primarily by unpaid volunteers, Wikipedia articles are relied on by platforms from Google to Amazon Alexa to provide information and context to their users. Emotions run high as India take on Pakistan in cricket’s most passionate rivalry. India won the first group game between the arch-rivals on August 28, but Pakistan quickly exacted revenge to secure Sunday’s thriller at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.