Zubair's tweet "highly provocative", "more than sufficient to incite hatred among people", states FIR

The Delhi Police has arrested Alt News founder Zubair after a Twitter user tagged them in one of Zubair's old tweets claiming it had hurt his "religious sentiments"

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

NH Web Desk

The Delhi Police has stated that Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair has been arrested after a Twitter user named Hanuman Bhakt (@balajikijaiin) tagged the Delhi Police in a 2018 tweet by Zubair, where he had shared a photo of a hotel’s signboard that changed its name from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel” post-2014, reported The Quint.

The Twitter user has posted, “Linking our God Hanuman ji with honeymoon is a direct insult of Hindus because he is brahmchari. Kindly take action against this guy.”

According to The Quint, the Delhi Police stated, “The said post of Mohd Zubair containing picture and words against a particular religious community are highly provocative and done deliberately which are more than sufficient to incite hatred among people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquility. Such tweets were getting retweeted and it appeared that there is a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and is overall against the maintenance of public tranquility.”

The FIR, filed on June 20, stated, “Transmission and publication of such posts has been deliberately done by Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) through electronic media to insult the religious feelings of a particular community with intent to provoke breach of peace which attracts offence under section 153A/295 IPC.”

The Indian Express quoted sub-inspector Arun Kumar, who works with IFSO and was the complainant in the case, as saying that he "asked that the investigation of the case be marked to him and that the FIR not be uploaded on their website since it was “sensitive” in nature."

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday and charged under IPC sections 153 and 295 A, and is in one-day police custody at the Dwarka Cyber Cell lockup. His colleague Pratik Sinha tweeted, “Counsels Soutik Banerjee and Kawalpreet Kaur appeared for Zubair. The police had sought 7 days police custody. The duty magistrate declined to give long custody and allowed custody for only 1 day. Half hour visitation has been allowed for the lawyer.”

According to DCP (IFSO) KPS Malhotra, “Zubair is being produced before the magistrate for seeking further PC remand for the purpose of the investigation of the case”, reported The Quint.

In another tweet, Sinha had stated, “Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had a protection against arrest from High Court. However, today at around 6.45pm we 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. Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests.” He added, “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.”

Sinha also questioned “why is the Delhi police in such a tearing hurry to bring Zubair all the way from Dwarka to the residence of a duty magistrate in Burari at this hour? Why not just produce him before the regular court tomorrow before the 24 hours end that is not till tomorrow afternoon?”

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Published: 28 Jun 2022, 12:05 PM