AltNews's Mohammed Zubair Arrested, Delhi Police Wants to 'Unravel Conspiracy' Behind His Tweets

According to Pratik Sinha, Alt News' co-founder and Mohammed Zubair's colleague, Delhi Police did not present an FIR copy despite repeated requests.

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New Delhi: Journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair has been arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity.

According to NDTV, the case is based on a complaint made by Twitter handle ‘@balajikijaiin’ earlier this month, alleging that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable” image to “deliberately insult the god of a particular religion”, police said. Zubair posted that tweet in March 2018.

The @balajikijaiin Twitter page has just one tweet, posted on June 19, and has zero followers.

“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,” ANI quoted Delhi Police as saying.

Police officials associated with the probe also said Zubair’s conduct during the investigation was found “questionable”, warranting his custodial interrogation to “unravel conspiracy in this matter”. He will be produced before the court for seeking police custody, officials added.

According to news agency ANI, 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.

Earlier Pratik Sinha, another co-founder of the news outlet, said he and Zubair were summoned by Delhi Police’s special cell on Monday, June 27, in connection with a 2020 case for which Zubair already had protection from the high court. However, Sinha added, the Delhi Police arrested Zubair on Monday evening in connection with “some other FIR [first information report] for which no notice was given”.

Sinha alleged that despite repeated requests, no FIR copy was presented to them.

In another tweet, Sinha said, “After the medical examination, Zubair is being taken to an undisclosed location. Neither Zubair’s lawyers or I are being told where. We are in the police van with him. No police person is wearing any name tag.”

It maybe recalled that earlier Zubair was booked by police in Uttar Pradesh’s Khairabad after he called Hindutva leaders Yati Narasinghanand, Mahant Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop “hatemongers” in a tweet.

He was then charged under Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act.

Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as soon as new information trickles in.