Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair won't surrender electronic devices: Sources | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair won't surrender electronic devices: Sources

Jun 28, 2022 04:07 PM IST

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested Monday - after he flagged ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comments in the Prophet row - and was sent to 1-day police custody.

Mohammed Zubair, journalist and co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, has refused to hand over personal electronic devices used by him in 2018 - which he may have used when he allegedly made the 'highly provocative' social media post post 'against a particular religious community' that led to his arrest yesterday, a senior Delhi Police officer said Tuesday.

Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, (Twitter)(HT_PRINT)
Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, (Twitter)(HT_PRINT)

Police said Zubair was 'evasive' when asked questions and did not provide the 'necessary technical equipment' or co-operate with the authorities.

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Neither Zubair nor his legal team have commented on this as yet.

Mohammed Zubair was arrested Monday - weeks after he flagged ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comments in the Prophet row.

He was sent to police custody for one day. Custody has since been sought for a further five days. READ: Police seek 5-day custody of Mohammed Zubair

The FIR against the journalist - a copy of which has been seen by Hindustan Times - was registered on the basis of a sub-inspector's complaint; the document is not online because of its sensitive nature, officials have said.

The complainant was monitoring social media when he came across a post seeking action against Zubair for a tweet that said: 'BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel.' The tweet was posted with an image of the hotel’s signboard.

"Words and the picture found to be used by Mohammed Zubair - @zoo_bear - against a particular religious community and are highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred among people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquillity," the FIR states.

READ: Mohammed Zubair’s 2018 tweet against ‘particular community’, incites hatred, says FIR againt Alt News co-founder

Zubair's colleague and Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha has alleged Zubair was arrested without notice - which is mandatory under law for the sections under which he has been held. He also said that no police person in the van in which Zubair was taken away was wearing any name tag.

On Tuesday he tweeted - in response to a tweet by a TV news channel showing screenshots of the remand copy - "… Zubair's lawyers haven't been provided the copy despite multiple requests to the concerned police personnel."

Mohammed Zubair's arrest has sparked waves of condemnation online, with journalists, activists and opposition leaders speaking out in support.

READ: Opposition condemns Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair’s arrest

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "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." AIMIM chief and MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien and a Rashtriya Janata Dal MP joined Gandhi in criticising the government.

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