AltNews cofounder Mohammed Zubair arrested for alleged hurting of religious sentimentstext_fields
New Delhi: Delhi Police arrested journalist and AltNews cofounder Mohammad Zubair on Monday for the alleged religious hurting of religious sentiments, PTI reported.
Asian News International, citing Delhi Police, reported that the case registered against him was based on a post by a Twitter handle by the name of Mohammed Zubair, which went "Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel". But the tweet was posted in 2018.
Present case registered on basis of a post on Twitter by handle Hanuman Bhakt @ balajikijaiin where he showed his anger against another Twitter handle in name of Mohammed Zubair regarding the post "BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel":Delhi police sr officials— ANI (@ANI) June 27, 2022
NDTV quoted AltNews cofounder Pratik Sinha, "No FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests." He told the news channel that Zubair was called for questioning in a different case, and no mandatory notice was given for the arrest.
K P S Malhotra, DCP (Cyber Crime), said that a case was registered against Zubair earlier under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code.
He said that Zubair joined the probe on Monday, and the arrest was registered after sufficient evidence was gathered on record. The journalist has been produced before a magistrate to get a police remand, Malhotra added.
India's few fact-checking services, especially @AltNews, perform a vital service in our post-truth political environment, rife with disinformation. They debunk falsehoods whoever perpetrates them. To arrest @zoo_bear is an assault on truth. He should be released immediately.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 27, 2022
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor condemned the arrest, saying it was an assault on truth. He demanded Zubair's release. Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh alleged that the Delhi police is taking vengeance for AltNews, exposing the Union government's bogus claims.
Altnews & @zoo_bear have been in the forefront of exposing the bogus claims of the Vishguru, who has struck back with a vengeance characteristic of him. Delhi Police, reporting to the Union Home Minister, has long lost any pretensions of professionalism and independence. https://t.co/OPi1MMth5g— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) June 27, 2022
Activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan was angry over the arrest, reports NDTV and quoted him that the Centre is hunting those who expose hate speech.
AltNews is a non-profit fact-checking portal and one of the most prominent among its kind. Founded in 2017, its founders were being bullied and belittled online as well as hunted by the right-wing groups for years.