Four-Day Police Custody For Alt News Co-Founder Zubair

| Updated: 28 June, 2022 7:30 pm IST
Mohammed Zubair has been arrested for hurting religious sentiments.

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Tuesday sent Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to four days of police custody. Zubair was produced before the court of Snigdha Sarvaria after his one-day police custody came to an end on Tuesday.

Zubair was arrested on Monday evening by the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell in connection with a 2018 tweet.

The Delhi Police in the court said that it required Zubair’s police remand to gather information regarding the device from which the tweet was made by the accused.

The Judge while sending Zubair to four days of police custody said, “Considering that mobile phone/laptop of the accused, used by him for posting the tweet in question, is to be recovered at the instance of accused Mohammed Zubair from his Bangalore residence and that he has remained non-cooperative and the disclosure statement on record, four days PC remand of accused is granted since accused is to be taken to Bangalore.”

ALSO READ: Zubair Was Evasive, Not Cooperating: Police

The court said that the submissions with respect to the photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie ‘Kissi Se Na Kehna’ of the year 1983 are also of “no assistance” to the accused at this stage.

During the hearing, Delhi Police counsel informed the court that Zubair appeared before the police along with his blank phone. He said that all applications were deleted from his phone.

The Delhi Police counsel also stated that there are four more posts with one post showing Mahabharat character Sanjay using the laptop.

In the FIR against Zubair, it was alleged that his tweet from 2018 was found “highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite the feeling of hatred” amongst people which can be detrimental to the maintenance of public tranquillity in the society.

It is further said that transmission and publication of such posts have been deliberately done by Zubair through electronic media to incite the religious feelings of a particular community with the intent to provoke a breach of the peace which attracts offence under Section 153 A/295 of the Indian Penal Code.

ALSO READ: Alt-News Co-Founder Mohd Zubair Arrested For Hurting Religious Sentiments

After the arrest of Zubair, the Delhi Police in a statement said that during the course of the investigation registered at PS-Special Cell, Zubair joined in the investigation of the case and after having sufficient evidence on record, he was arrested in the present case.

Delhi Police officials said they had registered a case after getting a complaint from a Twitter handle which had alleged that Zubair had “tweeted a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion”.

“Such tweets were getting retweeted and it appeared that there is a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and are overall against the maintenance of public tranquillity,” the officials added.

In the tweet, Zubair shared a picture that shows a hotel board that reads ‘Hanuman Hotel’ in Hindi. Paint marks suggest that it was earlier called ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ and the ‘Honeymoon’ was changed to ‘Hanuman’.

Zubair wrote in the tweet, “Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel, After 2014: Hanuman Hotel”.

Zubair, who refers to himself as a fact-checker with his Instagram handle as instagram.com/zoo_bear, has more than 5.4 lakh followers. He frequently shares screenshots of Paytm deposits at Alt News, with donations running from a few hundred rupees to thousands, every month through crowd-funding.

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