India summons Wikipedia officials over cricketer bio tweak after Pakistan match

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Asian Cup - India v Hong Kong

By Munsif Vengattil

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has summoned executives of Wikipedia after a national cricketer's page on the online encyclopedia was edited following a match with rival Pakistan to claim that he was linked to a Sikh separatist movement, a government source said on Monday.

Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh has incurred the wrath of many social media users since Sunday when he dropped a simple catch in the closing stages of a tense India-Pakistan match.

Singh's Wikipedia page on Sunday said the Sikh cricketer, born in 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.

The Wikipedia page has since been rectified since.

A senior government source said the federal information technology (IT) ministry has summoned Wikipedia executives over the incident, without elaborating.

India's IT ministry and Wikipedia did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

India's Economic Times newspaper reported earlier on Monday a government panel will question Wikipedia on how the online encyclopedia is edited and how modifications such as those made to Singh's page could be allowed.

"The edits have been traced back to servers in the neighboring countries and can cause serious damage to the internal peace and national safety of India," the newspaper quoted a government official as saying.

Wikipedia's articles, written primarily by unpaid volunteers, are relied on by platforms from Google to Amazon Alexa to give their users information and context.

Emotions run high whenever India play Pakistan in what is cricket's most passionate rivalry between the bitter neighbours.

India prevailed in the first group match between the arch-rivals on Aug. 28 but Pakistan swiftly exacted revenge clinching Sunday's thriller at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Hugh Lawson)