Soon after the news broke of model and former Miss India Top 21 finalist Aishwarya Sheoran having cracked the UPSC exams in her first attempt and achieving an All India Rank of 93, multiple accounts on Instagram impersonating her have cropped up.
The Quint found that there were at least four accounts on Instagram masquerading as ‘Aishwarya Sheoran’. One of the accounts, with the handle name ‘aishwaryasheoran’, had a publicly available photo of Sheoran as the profile picture. While the account was set to private, it had three posts and 44 followers.
Another account, called ‘aishwarya.sheoran’ had a bio which read “Aishwarya Sheoran, Femina Miss India Finalist’16, UPSC ALL INDIA RANK 93”. While the profile picture of this account too is a publicly available photo, the account itself was set to public, allowing us to see that there were two posts made by the account in the last 24 hours.
While one was a photo of Sheoran, also publicly available, the other was a post originally uploaded by the official Instagram page of Femina Miss India.
Another account we found was called “aishwaryasheoranias”. This account calls itself the official account and also had a bio which stated that “Aishwarya Sheoran ias” was a “Miss Femina Finalist” and had “UPSC AIR - 93 2019”.
We found that this account had only one post, dated 5 August 2020 - which was a slideshow of two photos from a photoshoot - and had also put up a story calling out one of the other accounts as fake. This account had 821 followers.
Another account we found was called ‘iasaishwaryasheoran’ and had two posts, both photos which we saw in the other accounts, and had been posted in the evening on 5 August.
WHAT WE FOUND
In the first photo in one of the accounts, ‘Sheoran’ said that she was returning to Instagram after a period of two years, but we found some users saying that the account was fake in the comments of the post.
Moreover, we found that the photos used in all the accounts were publicly available from Sheoran’s modelling and Miss India days and that all these accounts named above seemed to have started posting on 4 August 2020, which is when the UPSC results were announced.
Further, The Quint reached out to Sheoran, who confirmed that none of these accounts belonged to her.
“I’ve said it in all the interviews that I am not on any social media platform. All the handles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all fake,” Sheoran said, adding that she had not returned to any of the platforms since her news had broken either.
She also said that some of these accounts had come to her notice as well and that these fake accounts could become an issue for her as well.
WHO IS AISHWARYA SHEORAN?
Sheoran is the daughter of Colonel Ajay Kumar, Commanding Officer of NCC Telangana Battalion, Karimnagar and has studied from Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.
The former Miss India 2016 finalist and winner of Delhi Times Fresh Face 2014, Sheoran secured AIR 93 in the Civil Service Exam 2019, the results of which were released on 4 August 2020. Being an IAS officer has been her childhood dream, Sheoran told The Quint.
"I had to switch off my phone, social media, everything, to focus on the exam and the result is here. But it's not that I suddenly generated interest in studies. I was always studious," she told reporters.
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