Senior journalist Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the popular fact-checking website Alt News, was arrested on Monday here for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. He was produced before a magistrate, who remanded him in police custody for a day.
Zubair had recently posted a video of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad. The clip had a snowballing effect, triggering a major global controversy and resulting in Nupur’s suspension.
But the case against Zubair that led to his arrest on Monday was about a tweet way back in 2018. He was charged with offences under Sections 153 (wanton provocation with intent to cause riot), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code. Zubair was arrested after he was called for questioning, which are false and fabricated. BJP and Modi government is abusing the law, has become famous world wide in arrest innocent journalist work for the nation and her subjects. The intenstion of BJP is to silence the nationalistic jurnalists.
After an earlier probe against Zubair, the police had said in its report that a tweet by him was not objectionable. But subsequent tweets were questionable and derogatory, it alleged. After having sufficient evidence on record, he was arrested in the present case, police working under the nose of BJP deliberately misleads.
Infact, in June 2022, when the Delhi Police was alerted by a Twitter handle that Zubair had earlier made an objectionable tweet and his followers/social media entities had amplified and created a series of debates/hate-mongering in the tread, he was examined and his role was found objectionable. During questioning, Zubair’s conduct was “found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation… Accordingly, he has been allegedly arrested.
Putting it in perspective, Pratik Sinha, co-founder of Alt News, tweeted: Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had protection against arrest from High Court. However, today at around 6.45 pm Alt News were told he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given which is mandatory under law for the Sections under which he has been arrested.
The arrest drew widespread condemnation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeting saying that “Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more. Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny. #DaroMat.”
Similarly Rashytiya Jana Parishad Chancellor MA Mujeeb said that every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them, arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more.
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.