On Monday night, the Delhi Police arrested Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of Alt News, and the court sent him to one-day police remand.
Mohammed Zubair Arrested:
The Delhi Police arrested Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair on Monday night. He is accused of inciting religious sentiments. Zubair was arrested after an FIR was lodged on the basis of a complaint lodged by a person on micro-blogging site Twitter, tagging the Delhi Police. The man alleged that Zubair had hurt his religious sentiments and hence legal action should be taken. The police had registered a case earlier this month under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code on this complaint. Let us tell you who is Mohammad Zubair and for what reasons he was in discussion before this.
Fact Check website was created in 2017
Mohammad Zubair is the co-founder of the fact checking website AltNews. Zubair started Altnews website in the year 2017 along with Prateek Sinha, a software engineer. It was Zubair who had tweeted the controversial statements of BJP’s national spokesperson Nupur Sharma, after which the Indian government had to face severe criticism from the Gulf countries. While BJP had expelled Nupur Sharma, on the other hand the government had also distanced itself from the statements.
Sitapur chief of Hindu Sher Sena complained
In the case in which Zubair was arrested, Bhagwan Sharan, the head of the Sitapur unit of Hindu Sher Sena, had complained. Referring to Bhagwan Sharan’s complaint, the Delhi Police FIR said, “On May 27, I saw on Twitter that Mohammad Zubair used derogatory words like ‘Hetmonger’ against Bajrang Muni, the National Patron of Rashtriya Hindu Sher Sena. Zubair had also insulted Hindu Yeti Narasimhanand and Swami Anand Swaroop.
The complaint states that “Zubair has deliberately tried to spread hatred in the society and incite Muslims and hurt Hindu sentiments under the conspiracy. There is resentment among Hindus due to his such statements.” Bhagwan Sharan’s complaint alleged that Zubair was “instigating Muslims to kill Hindu leaders”.
NCPCR filed complaint in 2020
Earlier in the year 2020, Delhi Police had registered a case against Zubair on the complaint of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairman Priyank Kanungo. Zubair had made a tweet on 6 August 2020 in which he revealed the identity of a minor. After Twitter refused to remove Zubair’s tweet, the NCPCR went to the High Court alleging that the relevant tweet was violating the laws.
In February this year, the Delhi High Court had sought a status report from the police in this case. During the hearing in May, the Delhi Police had told the High Court that the tweet made by Zubair does not constitute a case of ‘no cognizable offence’.