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Sushma SwarajReuters

External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, who is often lauded for her effort to help Indians in distress abroad, recently reached out to help a "kidnapped" Indian national in Serbia only to discover on Thursday that he had staged his own abduction and the video of the same was fake.

An Indian national reached out to Swaraj on March 22 to help in rescuing his brother who was allegedly abducted and tortured in Serbia. The netizen tweeted: "@SushmaSwaraj please help my brother his life in big trouble somebody kidnap in Serbia country and ask him send the money unless we kill him."

There was a video along with the tweet that showed a shirtless man with his hands tied up. He was seen being beaten up with a baton in the video.

Swaraj then tweeted on March 23 saying that "Vinay Mahajan (the 'abducted' Indian) has been found and is in safe custody of Serbian authorities." She also confirmed the man had staged his own abduction and that the video was fake.

Swaraj added that Mahajan was under the custody of the Serbian police and he was released following the intervention of the Indian High Commission. The man will return to India on March 25, the external affairs minister further added.

Meanwhile, Twitterati lashed out at the man for staging his own abduction and troubling Swaraj.

The netizen, who had first reached out to Swaraj for help, also apologised to the Union minister saying it "seems that we have also been cheated by our brother."