New Delhi: Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of Alt News was sent in a one-day police custody after his arrest last night, over hurting the religious sentiments of a certain community and also promoting enmity between two groups. He has been booked under IPC section 153 and 295A.
Dwarka, Delhi | Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair who has been sent to 1-day police remand brought to IFSO Special Cell, Delhi Police
He has been arrested over allegations of hurting the religious sentiments of a community pic.twitter.com/Zi0ZHWdjdD
— ANI (@ANI) June 27, 2022
The fact-checker was already facing the heat over his insulting remarks on prominent people like Bajranj Munj, Anand Swaroo and Yati Narsinghanand and Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC on June 14 also refused to quash the FIR against him.
However, he has reportedly been arrested over a 2018 tweet in which he apparently made insulting reference to Lord Hanuman.
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) March 23, 2018
A case was filed against him on basis of a complaint by a Twitter user named @balajikijaiin. The user took strong exception to Zubair’s description of Honeymoon hotel as Hanuman hotel and said that it was a direct insult of Hindus. He also tagged Delhi Police, demanding action against the fact-checker.
A picture (in tweet) shown where signboard of hotel ‘हनीमून होटल ’ changed to ‘हनुमान होटल ’. Hanuman Bhakt @ balajikijaiin tweeted, “Linking our God Haunman ji with honeymoon is a direct insult of Hindus because he is brahmchari. Kindly take action against this guy”:Delhi Police
— ANI (@ANI) June 27, 2022
Zubair may have his own explanation behind the tweet and may argue that he was merely criticizing Modi government over its policies, as many allege that govt, post-2014, is forcing its way on how people live their life.
— Hanuman Bhakt (@balajikijaiin) June 19, 2022
However, while criticizing govt’s policies, no one can cross the limits and start making mockery of other religions. In a secular country like India, the religious customs & practices of all religions are treated with same respect and hence his insulting reference to Lord Hanuman left the Twitter user incensed.
FIR says ‘highly provocative post’
Meanwhile, the Delhi police has also said that Zubair’s conduct during probe was ‘questionable’ and hence custodial interrogation was needed to ‘unravel conspiracy’ in the matter.
Moreover, the FIR has dubbed the 2018 tweet as “highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred”.
“These words and the picture found to be used by Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear against a particular religious community and are highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred amongst people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquility in the society. Transmission and publication of such posts has been deliberately done Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear through electronic media to insult the religious feelings of a particular community with intent to provoke breach of peace which attracts offence under Section 153-A and 295. From the contents of the post from Twitter handle Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear, offence 153-A and 295 is made out,” says the FIR.