Co-Founder of Alt News Mohammed Zubair has been arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity.
Reportedly, Zubair has been charged under sec. 153 and 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
According to a tweet by Pratik Sinha, another co founder of Alt News, it has been stated that Zubair was called by Special Cell today for investigation in a 2020 case. However, he was arrested in a different FIR.
"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," the tweet reads.
As per Delhi Police, the case has been registered after a complaint was received from a twitter handle, wherein it was alleged that Zubair had tweeted a "questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion."
The Police has further said in June, 2022, a twitter handle had alerted the police that Zubair had earlier made an objectionable tweet, he was then examined in the new FIR. The police has claimed that his role was found objectionable.
"During investigation, the conduct of Mohammed 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," the Police has said.
The 2020 case as referred to is pending before the Delhi High Court which concerned a plea moved by Zubair seeking the quashing of the FIR lodged against him on a complaint by a twitter user, Jagdish Singh.
The case pertains to a tweet posted by Zubair, sharing the profile picture of Singh which had him standing with his minor granddaughter, and asking -after blurring the face of the minor girl - if it was appropriate for Singh to use derogatory language in replies while using a profile picture figuring his granddaughter.
It may be noted that Zubair was granted interim protection from arrest vide order dated September 9, 2020 by a single judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna which had also directed the Delhi Government and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Cell to file a status report on the investigation carried out in this case. The said protection is continuing.
This is a developing story and will be updated.