Police complaint against Alt News's Zubair over tweets on Arshdeep Singh

Updated on Sep 05, 2022 11:23 PM IST

In his complaint, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa cited a tweet by Mohammed Zubair where he had shared screenshots of tweets against Arshdeep posted on various handles.

Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News. (PTI file)
Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News. (PTI file)
By | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

As Arshdeep Singh became the target of vicious online trolling after he dropped a crucial catch in the death overs resulting in the defeat of India against Pakistan in the Asia Cup game on Sunday, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa has filed a police complaint against fact-checker and co-founder of Alt News website Mohammed Zubair, accusing him of "spreading hate" against the cricketer and the Sikh community with his tweet.

In his complaint filed at the Parliament Street police station, the BJP leader cited a tweet by Zubair where he had shared screenshots of tweets against Arshdeep posted on various handles.

According to Sirsa, most of these tweets were from “Pakistani accounts” and alleged that Zubair had acted at the behest of “anti-national elements”.

He demanded that an FIR be filed against him and an investigation launched to unearth the conspiracy.

Also Read | Amid online trolling, Raghav Chadha, Punjab minister meet Arshdeep's parents

“Mohammed Zubair acting in connivance with anti-national elements across the border has cleverly taken screenshots from Twitter of various Twitter handles after searching with the word- Khalistani and has then posted a tweet at 00:05 hours on September 5, 2022, combining all these tweets,” he alleged.

Sirsa alleged that Zubair was "trying to portray that such abusive and malicious tweets were posted by Indian Twitter handles, whereas the reality is that most of these Twitter accounts are Pakistani accounts".

He also claimed some were created just for the purpose of this tweet, “'the sole intention behind which was to spread hate against a nationalist and national level player who has given his heart and soul playing for the country and also against the entire Sikh community”.

Zubair already arrested for hurting religious sentiments

The fact-checker was arrested on June 27 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through a tweet against a Hindu deity in 2018. He was in custody for 24 days on allegations of hate speech and is now out on bail.

Multiple FIRs were lodged against Zubair in Uttar Pradesh - two in Hathras and one each in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad and Chandauli.

He was released after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail, saying the "exercise of the power of arrest must be pursued sparingly".

Notice to Wikipedia after Arshdeep's page vandalised

Meanwhile, the government has slapped a notice on Wikipedia after a Khalistani slur appeared on the information page of Arshdeep.

After the missed catch, information on his Wikipedia page was changed to link him to the separatist Khalistani movement.

The Indian government on Monday slammed Wikipedia over the publishing of false information on Singh's page that linked him to the separatist Khalistani movement and made it clear that such incitement cannot be permitted.

Minister of state for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar took to Twitter to slam such a move.

"No intermediary operating in India can permit this type of misinformation (a)n(d) deliberate efforts to incitement (a)n(d) user harm - violates our govts expectations of safe and trusted internet," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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