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Journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair was arrested on June 27 in connection with a tweet posted in 2018. A Delhi court granted him bail on July 15.
Apart from this case, several other charges have also been filed against him in Uttar Pradesh. The state has topped the list of criminal cases filed against journalists. For instance, journalist Siddique Kappan was arrested in October 2018 by the UP police while on his way to cover the Hathras gang-rape. He is still in prison.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on July 20 granted bail to Zubair in all cases.
The arrest of Zubair and several other journalists has come at a time when India’s press freedom ranking has fallen to 150 out of 180 countries this year, the lowest ever.
The ‘vicious cycle’ of arrests and harassment, as quoted by the Supreme Court, comes against the backdrop of rising fake news in India.