Mohammed Zubair | Photo: Twitter
New Delhi: Journalist and co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News Mohammed Zubair has been arrested by the Delhi Police for ‘insulting religious beliefs’.
“Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had a protection against arrest from High Court. However, today at around 6.45pm we were told he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given which is mandatory under law for the Sections under which he has been arrested. Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests,” tweeted Pratik Sinha, the co-founder of Alt News.
News agency ANI reported that he was arrested under sections 153/295 of IPC. "Present case registered on basis of a post on Twitter by handle Hanuman Bhakt @ balajikijaiin where he showed his anger against another Twitter handle in name of Mohammed Zubair regarding the post “BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel,” said ANI quoting Delhi Police official.
The 2020 case was filed by a Twitter user, Jagdish Singh, over a tweet from Zubair.
CPM condemned the arrest. "He has been upstanding in exposing hate speech and toxic disinformation. Delhi police, the instrument of authoritarian actions has once again acted vindictively and lawlessly. We demand his immediate release," it tweeted.
Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor said the arrest "is an assault on truth. He should be released immediately."
Zubair has fact-checked several fake news propagated by the right-wing. He has been subjected to continuous attacks on social media by the followers of Sangh Parivar.
Recently, Twitter informed him that the Government of India has requested it to suspend his handle.