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AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody

Delhi police arrested the journalist based on a complaint against a 2018 tweet

Sabrangindia 28 Jun 2022

Mohammed ZubairImage Courtesy: h10news.in

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on June 28, 2022 remanded AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair to four days police custody for a tweet posted four years ago. This is Zubair’s sixth FIR over the last two years.

As per the complaint received by Delhi police’s cyber unity, Zubair is charged for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. The complainant is a social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ who has not disclosed his identity but alleged that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

The tweet in question is a screenshot of the 1983 Hindi movie Kissi Se Na Kehna wherein a hotel named ‘Honeymoon’ is repainted to read ‘Hanuman.’ Pointing out that such tweets are abundant on the internet, Zubair’s legal representative Vrinda Grover called the entire case to be bordering on “absurdity”.

When the police accused Zubair of having edited the image, LiveLaw quoted Grover as asking, “Is it their case that if it's the same tweet, many others have said that too, the only distinction between them and my client is a distinction of faith of my name, my work?. Is that the reason why I am being targeted?”

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria ordered, “The submissions with respect to photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie Kissi se Na Kehna of the year 1983 are also of no use to the accused at this stage.”

She granted police remand adding that Zubair’s mobile phone or laptop may be recovered from his Bangalore residence and that he has remained non-cooperative.

Mohammed Zubair

Mohammed Zubair

On June 27, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR; Zubair's friends and colleagues say it was without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on his social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application – a fact reiterated by Grover as well. The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Zubair’s arrest comes days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Mumbai police on June 25. On that same day former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar was also arrested. The series of arrests have enraged many free speech proponents across the world.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

AltNews’s Mohammed Zubair remanded to four-day police custody

Delhi police arrested the journalist based on a complaint against a 2018 tweet

Mohammed ZubairImage Courtesy: h10news.in

Delhi’s Patiala House Court on June 28, 2022 remanded AltNews Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair to four days police custody for a tweet posted four years ago. This is Zubair’s sixth FIR over the last two years.

As per the complaint received by Delhi police’s cyber unity, Zubair is charged for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, promoting enmity between different groups and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings. The complainant is a social media user ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ who has not disclosed his identity but alleged that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

The tweet in question is a screenshot of the 1983 Hindi movie Kissi Se Na Kehna wherein a hotel named ‘Honeymoon’ is repainted to read ‘Hanuman.’ Pointing out that such tweets are abundant on the internet, Zubair’s legal representative Vrinda Grover called the entire case to be bordering on “absurdity”.

When the police accused Zubair of having edited the image, LiveLaw quoted Grover as asking, “Is it their case that if it's the same tweet, many others have said that too, the only distinction between them and my client is a distinction of faith of my name, my work?. Is that the reason why I am being targeted?”

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria ordered, “The submissions with respect to photograph which is a part of the tweet in question being a part of the movie Kissi se Na Kehna of the year 1983 are also of no use to the accused at this stage.”

She granted police remand adding that Zubair’s mobile phone or laptop may be recovered from his Bangalore residence and that he has remained non-cooperative.

Mohammed Zubair

Mohammed Zubair

On June 27, the cyber police called Zubair from Bengaluru for investigation in a 2020 case. In September 2020, Zubair was booked under the POCSO Act after he responded to an abusive message from a Twitter user. Later, the High Court gave him protection against arrest. However, this time the police said that the journalist was arrested under a different FIR; Zubair's friends and colleagues say it was without prior notice.

Narrating the whole ordeal on his social media, Sinha said that the police failed to produce a copy of the FIR or remand application – a fact reiterated by Grover as well. The DIGIPUB News India Foundation condemned the arrest, recollecting how he was previously booked for calling three Hindutva supremacists “hatemongers”.

“In a democracy, where every individual possesses the right to exercise the freedom of speech and expression, it is unjustifiable that such stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of the institutions of the state,” said the DIGIPUB in their statement.

Zubair’s arrest comes days after activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad was picked up by the Mumbai police on June 25. On that same day former Gujarat State DGP R. B. Sreekumar was also arrested. The series of arrests have enraged many free speech proponents across the world.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by vchitra.in (@vchitra.in)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by smish (@smishdesigns)

Related:

First Teesta Setalvad, now Mohammed Zubair!
Nation unites to demand Teesta Setalvad’s release
Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against Alt News Founder Mohammed Zubair
How are religious sentiments hurt when blatant hate speech is exposed by a journalist?
BJP dumps spokesperson Nupur Sharma, Naveen K. Jindal in damage control move
Millat Times Editor booked for sharing Kanpur violence videos!

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