Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair, has been arrested by the Delhi police on Monday under sections 153 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code, news agency ANI reported.
Delhi Police released a press note that it has on Monday, registered a case against Alt News co-founder, Muhammed Zubair, after receiving a complaint from a twitter handle, wherein it was alleged “that Mohammed Zubair had tweeted a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.” The Delhi police said that 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.”
Mohammed Zubair on Monday had joined an investigation with regards to an earlier case for which he had protection from the High Court against arrest, in Case FIR no. 194/20 PS-Special Cell. During investigation, “the tweet by Mohammad Zubair was not found objectionable”. Whereas, subsequent tweets after his tweet led to series of questionable and derogatory tweets. In this investigation he had been earlier examined and the investigation is on the verge of conclusion.
But in the month of June 2022, the Delhi Police said that they were alerted by a Twitter handle that Mohammad Zubair had earlier made an objectionable tweet and his followers and social media entities had amplified and created a series of debates and hate-mongering in the tread. He was examined and charged with sections 153A and 295A of the IPC and his role was found objectionable by the Police.
The press note said that he was evasive on the questions asked and neither “provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation.”
The conduct of Mohammed Zubair was found questionable during the investigation, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter. “Accordingly, he has been arrested and is being produced before the court for seeking police custody remand.”
The Nupur Sharma controversy had started with Zubair posting a short clip of Nupur Sharma allegedly making inflammatory remarks against Prophet Muhammed. It snowballed into a major controversy with 16 Arab countries condemning India over the inflammatory remarks and protests across the world, including in several cities in India.
This gave rise to sharp criticism by Twittizens, that highlighting hate speech has become a crime now and people who propagate hate roam free, referring to Nupur Sharma.
Senior Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “India’s few fact-checking services, especially @AltNews, perform a vital service in our post-truth political environment, rife with disinformation. They debunk falsehoods whoever perpetrates them. To arrest @zoo_bear is an assault on truth. He should be released immediately.”
Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted:
“Shocked to hear that @zoo_bear has been taken into custody by the Delhi Police. Checking fact from fiction was probably his biggest crime?”