Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of the fact-checking website Alt News, was given one day of police prison on Monday by duty magistrate Ajay Narwal in a case involving allegedly inciting enmity between religious groups. Zubair will appear before the court again tomorrow after the court ordered him to spend the day in police prison.
Due to a tweet he published in 2018, Zubair has been charged with violating Sections 153A and 295 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
A complaint from a Twitter account that claimed Zubair had tweeted an unsavoury image with the goal to purposefully disrespect the God of a certain religion led to the registration of a case against him.
The police had requested 7 days of imprisonment during the hearing on the grounds that Zubair was not helping with the investigation. The opposing party maintained that since he was fully complying with the inquiry, there was no justification for police to take him into jail.
The Delhi police’s special cell filed a FIR in 2020, and Zubair joined the inquiry on Monday, according to the authorities. Zubair’s tweet was not deemed offensive during the course of the inquiry into the aforementioned FIR, according to a status report provided by Delhi Police to the High Court.
A different tweet from 2018 was reported to Delhi Police, though. The arrest made today was in response to it.
“In the month of June, 2022, when Delhi Police was alerted by a twitter handle that Mohammad Zubair had earlier made an objectionable tweet and his followers/social media entities had amplified and created a series of debates/hate mongering in the thread, he was examined in this case, i.e., FIR no. 172/22 under Sections 153A/295 IPC and his role was found objectionable. He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation.”
Zubair was represented by advocate Soutik Banerjee and Kawalpreet Kaur.