Mohammed Zubair Had Multiple FIRs Against Him For Outraging Religious Feelings Before This Arrest
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested by Delhi Police on 27 June "highly provocative" tweet that Delhi Police says was "more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred".
Sequence of events: Zubair was recently in the eye of the storm during the Nupur Sharma controversy. Zubair faced accusations of amplifying a edited clip of what former BJP spokesperson said during a TV discussion, after which she received death threats.
On 1 June, UP Police booked Zubair under IPC Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) as well as Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.
Another FIR was registered on 20 June under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295-A (malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC. The arrest was made under this FIR.
The complaint is based on Zubair's 24 March 2018 tweet that said, “Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel,” accompanied by an image of a hotel signboard.
After the arrest, Zubair was presented before a Delhi court. He was sent to one day of police custody remand of the Special Cell’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations.
Zubair's past record: Zubair himself accepts that this is the fifth or sixth case that has been filed against him.
Ghaziabad Police had filed an FIR against him and five others on 15 June 2021 for sharing a video on Twitter with the deliberate and malicious intention to foment religious discord.
Police had booked Zubair under the POCSO Act in September 2020 after he posted a minor's girl photo in response to an online spat.
Zubair's tweets and Facebook posts mocking Hinduism have been going viral for some time. He also deleted his Facebook account on 13 June.
Support for Zubair: Various journalists and politicians have come out in support of Zubair.
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. #DaroMat."
Shashi Tharoor appreciated Alt News' "fact-checking services" and called Zubair's arrest "an assault on truth," asking for his immediate release.
Condemning Zubair's arrest, Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Delhi Police does nothing about anti-Muslim genocidal slogans but acts swiftly against "crime" of reporting hate speech & countering misinformation."
Rohini Singh, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Fatima Khan, Rana Ayyub, and other journalists, TRS and CPI(M), and TMC leaders like Mahua Moitra and Derek O'Brien have also voiced their support for Zubair.
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