UP Police Form SIT To Investigate Six Cases Against Journalist Zubair

The SIT was formed to conduct a 'transparent' probe and will quickly submit a chargesheet, additional director general of police (law and order) Prashant Kumar said.

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New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for a “transparent” probe into cases lodged against Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair in various districts of the state.

The SIT has been asked to conduct a speedy probe and submit a chargesheet to the court, additional director general of police (law and order) Prashant Kumar said.

The SIT will be headed by the inspector general (prisons) Preetinder Singh.

According to the Indian Express, two cases against Zubair are lodged in the Hathras district while one case each is registered in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar districts.

The journalist was recently charged with four cases by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police over a period of two weeks. He was first taken into custody by the Delhi police, following which he was sent to Sitapur. The fact-checker was on Monday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a court in Lakhimpur Kheri.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court extended his interim bail in the Sitapur case and listed his petition to quash the FIR against him on September 7.

Zubair, who was lodged at Sitapur jail in UP, was sent to Tihar jail in Delhi Monday evening, according to the Indian Express.

The SIT will also constitute officers of the ranks additional superintendent of police, deputy superintendent of police and inspector to help the investigation.

The newspaper said the cases against Zubair are for “allegedly making sarcastic comments against a news channel anchor, hurting sentiments of Hindus, making objectionable comments on deities and uploading provocative posts”. The charges against him include promoting enmity and deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, the IE report said.