Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who flagged Prophet remark, sent to 1-day police custody

Updated on Jun 28, 2022 12:21 AM IST

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets, officials said.

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair being taken by police in a van in Delhi. (ANI)
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair being taken by police in a van in Delhi. (ANI)
By, New Delhi

Co-Founder of Alt News Mohammed Zubair was sent to one-day police custody late Monday night, hours after he was arrested by the Delhi Police on charges of hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets.

A while ago, Pratik Sinha – Zubair's colleague and the other founder of the fact-checking platform – confirmed alleged that no copy of the FIR or the remand was provided to them. “Without providing any information including a copy of the FIR or remand application in Zubair’s case, we are told that he’s to be produced before a duty magistrate at his residence in Burari. He is currently detained inside a police bus in Burari for more than an hour,” Sinha wrote on Twitter.

In an earlier tweet, Sinha said Zubair was being taken to an “undisclosed location”. “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.”

He also said that no police person in the van was wearing any name tag.

According to a report in PTI, KPS Malhotra, deputy commissioner of police (Cyber Cell), said Zubair has been arrested in connection with one of his recent tweets that had a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion. Police said the case was registered on the complaint of a Twitter user who accused Zubair of hurting religious sentiments.

Earlier this month, a case against Zubair was registered under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the DCP added.

In a statement on Twitter, Sinha alleged that Zubair was arrested in a case for which no notice was given by the police, which is mandatory under law for the sections under which he has been held.

"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 6.45 pm, we were told he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given which is mandatory under law for the section under which he has been arrested.

"Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests," Sinha said.

Police said Zubair was "evasive" on their questions and neither provided the "necessary technical equipment" for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the case.

"During investigation, the conduct of Mohammed Zubair was found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter. Accordingly, he has been arrested," the statement said, adding that he will be produced in a court here.

According to the officials, Zubair's tweets were getting re-tweeted and it appeared that there was a brigade of social media entities who indulged in hate mongering, thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and which was against the maintenance of public tranquillity.

(With PTI inputs)

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