'Custody for Only 1 Day,' Delhi Police to Produce Mohammed Zubair Before Magistrate Today

The Alt News co-founder was arrested over a 2018 tweet of a film still which police has claimed has "hurt religious sentiments and promoted enmity."

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New Delhi: Journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who was arrested by Delhi Police for a 2018 tweet of a film still which allegedly “hurt religious sentiments and promoted enmity,” has been sent to a day’s custody.

He is to be produced before the Burari magistrate today, June 28.

Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha tweeted updates late on Monday, June 27, noting that police sought seven days’ custody.

“The duty magistrate declined to give long custody and allowed custody for only one day,” he tweeted.

Sinha added that half-hour visitation was allowed for lawyers. Zubair was represented by counsels Soutik Banerjee and Kawalpreet Kaur.

Sinha had earlier tweeted asking why police were intent upon producing Zubair before the Burari magistrate late on Monday itself instead of producing him before a regular court the next day, i.e. today, before the end of 24 hours.

Zubair was arrested under Sections 153 (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.

The case is based on a police complaint made after a Twitter handle ‘@balajikijaiin’ – an account with a couple of tweets and zero followers – alleged that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable” image to “deliberately insult the god of a particular religion”. Zubair posted that tweet in March 2018.

Police have claimed in the FIR that they were “alerted” by the Twitter handle.