Altnews editor receives serial threats from Hindutva influencers


AltNews co-founder Mohammad Zubair has received numerous online threats from Hindutva influencers after the site busted fake propaganda about attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu. Of those threatening Zubair is a rightwing columnist Harshil Mehta and former OpIndia editor Ajeet Bharti. “The plan is on. This time he will be totally circumcised so much that he’ll need a pipe to urinate,”  brazenly tweeted Bharti. Some twitter users went several steps further and suggested lone wolf attacks and an “Akhlaq”-like offensive. In 2015, a year and three months after the Modi 1 regime was voted to power, Mohammed Akhlaq was beaten to death by a mob on the suspicion of eating beef in UP’s Dadri district. This is not the first time that Zubair has been the target of abuse by the Hindu right. In June 2022, he was arrested for allegedly “hurting religious sentiments” with a tweet. 

“I am not aware of any death threat, no such information has come to me,” said Bengaluru police commissioner Pratap Reddy to Newslaundry.. “If Zubair approaches us, we will consider giving security based on the case.”


Courtesy: Newslaundry

Pratik Sinha, co-founder of Alt News, said that they were talking with their lawyers about what to do. Before this, Zubair tweeted to say that while he largely ignored or laughed off the torrent of abuse he receives, the flurry of tweets by people about “physically harming & finishing me” had increased after Alt News busted fake propaganda about murderous attacks on migrant Bihari workers in Tamil Nadu. Zubair also told the Wire that he had received threats earlier, but this time the threats were angrier and more explicit. 

Over past weeks, several right-wing social media pages, BJP leaders and certain mainstream news channels had falsely claimed that migrant labourers, particularly from Bihar, were being lynched in Tamil Nadu. 

It was not just Zubair but several other fact-checkers, who called these out These fact-checks helped counter the disinformation and also led to criminal cases being filed against Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Prashant Umrao, Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, right wing website OpIndia’s editor Nupur Sharma and CEO Rahul Roushan, and a few YouTubers and Twitter handles. 


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