Altnews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair Faces Action For ‘Online Harassment’ Of Minor Girl As Child Commission Steps In

by Swarajya Staff - Aug 9, 2020 09:36 AM +05:30 IST
Altnews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair Faces Action For ‘Online Harassment’ Of Minor Girl As Child Commission Steps InThe tweet by commission’s chairman Priyank Kanoongo 
Snapshot
  • At the time of publishing this report, Zubair had neither deleted the tweet in question nor reacted to the commission’s letter to the Delhi police

“Fact-checking” website Altnews’s co-founder Mohammad Zubair, who tweets from his verified handle @zoo_bear, has come under the scanner of the national child commission for a tweet. The commission has asked the Delhi cyber police to act on complaints made to it regarding the tweet.

On 7 August, Zubair indulged in an online spat with a Twitter handle, @JSINGH2252. Zubair went on to post the display picture used by the handle that showed him with a girl child, possibly his granddaughter. Zubair blurred the girl’s picture and wrote, “Hello Jagdish Singh, Does your cute grand daughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media?”

Zubair’s tweet came under heavy criticism from social media users who accused him of using a child to get back at a critic.

It also led to a barrage of abuses hurled at the child by Zubair’s supporters. For instance, a handle, @de_real_mak, tweeted this:

Altnews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair Faces Action For ‘Online Harassment’ Of Minor Girl As Child Commission Steps In

A group, called Forum for Indigenous Rights-North-East India, that tweets from the handle @fir_ne, wrote to the commission the same day. “We are deeply anguished about an incident of online harassment and threat followed by stalking of a minor girl by an online stalker Mohammed Zubair bearing the Twitter handle @zoo_bear,” the letter said.

The same day, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Delhi, Nodal Cyber Cell officer, saying that the commission has received several complaints seeking action against Zubair under POCSO or relevant acts for “stalking of a minor girl on Twitter”.

“Even his followers have started posting indecent and disgraceful comments on the minor girl pictures,” the letter said, and added that harassing, threatening and stalking are offences under the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act.

“Since, it pertains to online harassment, threatening and stalking of a minor girl, the complaint is being forwarded to you for deemed lawful action in the matter at your end,” the letter says.

The commission’s chairman Priyank Kanoongo also tweeted about it:

Till the time of publishing this report, Zubair had neither deleted his tweet nor reacted to the commission’s letter.

Swarajya has earlier written on how Zubair misused his Twitter reach to show a dalit woman and her minor son as liars, thereby trying to sabotage their case against a neighbouring Muslim family. The dalit family had accused the neighbouring family of harassing them in order to make them leave the village. Swarajya had reported the family’s complaint and posted videos of the family’s statements.

Later, a probe by higher officials found that some local cops had tried to downplay allegations by the dalit family in order to shield the accused. Despite being pointed out, Zubair neither apologised nor deleted his tweets against the dalit family.

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