NEW DELHI: Delhi Police on Monday said it has arrested Alt News Co-founder Mohammad Zubair, who has been accused multiple times in the past by many in India of hurting religious sentiments on social media, after a long investigation.
Zubair has been arrested by special cell for allegedly promoting enmity groups by posting hateful comments against sacred texts and gods.
The special cell also has charged him under 295 A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that carries punishment for maliciously outraging religious feelings.
Zubair, who refers himself, as fact-checker with his email registered as [email protected] and Instagram handle has instagram.com/zoo_bear, has more 5.4 lakh followers. He frequently shares screenshots of Paytm deposits at Alt News, with donations running from a few hundred rupees to thousands, every month through crowd-funding.
“Today during the course of investigation of registered at PS-Special Cell u/s 153A/295A IPC alleged Mohammed Zubair was joined in the investigation of the case and after having sufficient evidence on record, he was arrested in the present case. He is being produced before the magistrate for seeking further PC remand for the purpose of the investigation of the case,” the statement has said.
Delhi Police officials said they had registered a case after getting a complaint from a Twitter handle which had alleged thatZubair had “tweeted a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion”.
“Such tweets were getting retweeted and it appeared that there is a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and is overall against the maintenance of public tranquility,” the officials added.
Officials said that Zubair joined investigation on Monday morning.
“Whereas, subsequent tweets after his tweet led to series of questionable and derogatory tweets. In the investigation of FIR no. 194/20, he had been earlier examined and the investigation is on the verge of conclusion,” officials said.
Officials disclosed that Delhi Police was “alerted” that his followers/social media entities had amplified and created a series of debates/hate mongering in the thread
“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,” officials told The New Indian.“During investigation, the conduct of Zubair was found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel the conspiracy in this matter. Accordingly, he has been arrested and is being produced before the court for seeking police custody remand,” said official.s