Delhi Police gets 4-day remand of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair

India

oi-Prakash KL

|

Google Oneindia News


New
Delhi,
Jun
28:

Delhi
Police
on
Tuesday
got
4-day
remand
of
Alt
News
co-founder
Mohammed
Zubair.
He
was
arrested
on
Monday
for
allegedly
hurting
religious
sentiments
and
promoting
enmity.

He
was
produced
before
Chief
Metropolitan
Magistrate,
Patiala
House
Court
after
the
expiry
of
his
one-day
custodial
interrogation.
As
calls
grow
for
the
immediate
release
of
the
journalist,
the
Delhi
Police
claimed
before
Chief
Metropolitan
Magistrate
Snigdha
Sarvaria
that
the
accused
was
following
a
trend
where
he
used
religious
tweets
in
an
effort
to
get
famous.

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair

“This
was
a
deliberate
effort
on
his
part
to
create
social
disharmony
and
hurt
religious
feelings,”
the
police
alleged.
The
accused,
however,
alleged
that
the
police
is
abusing
its
power
and
wanted
a
”fishing
enquiry”.

The
police
submitted
before
the
court
that
Zubair
did
not
cooperate
with
the
investigating
agency
and
that
his
custodial
interrogation
was
required
to
gather
information
regarding
the
device
from
which
the
tweet
was
made
by
him.

During
the
hearing,
Zubair’s
counsel
Vrinda
Grover
said
the
photo
which
the
accused
used
in
the
tweets
is
of
an
old
Hindi
film
from
1983
by
Hrishikesh
Mukherjee,
“Kissi
Se
Na
Kehna”,
and
that
the
movie
was
not
banned.

The
court,
however,
rejected
the
submission
saying
it
was
of
no
assistance
to
the
accused
at
this
stage.

“Considering
that
mobile
phone/laptop
of
accused
used
by
him
for
posting
the
tweet
in
question
is
to
be
recovered
at
the
instance
of
accused
Mohammed
Zubair
from
his
Bangalore
residence
and
that
accused
has
remained
non-cooperative
and
the
disclosure
statement
on
record,
four
days
PC
(police
custody)
remand
of
accused
is
granted
since
accused
is
to
be
taken
to
Bangalore,”
the
judge
said
in
a
3-page
order.

The
judge
then
directed
that
Zubair
be
produced
before
the
court
on
July
2.
Police
had
sought
an
extension
of
Zubair’s
custody
by
five
days.

Grover
opposed
the
police
plea
alleging
that
it
had
called
Zubair
for
questioning
in
some
other
case
but
he
was
arrested
in
the
present
case
in
haste.

She
said
the
tweet
in
question
was
published
by
Zubair
in
2018.

“Someone
recently
tweeted
Zubair’s
tweet
of
2018,
and
the
present
case
was
filed.
The
anonymous
Twitter
handle
had
its
very
first
tweet,
which
cited
Zubair’s
tweet,
which
has
been
picked
up
by
police.
The
agency
is
playing
mischief,”
the
counsel
said.

In
any
case,
the
Twitter
handle
using
Zubair’s
tweet
is
not
the
spokesperson
of
all
the
Hanuman
devotees,
she
added.

“They’re
claiming
that
I
edited
the
photo
in
question.
The
tweet
is
present
there
since
2018.
Since
2018
that
tweet
has
not
created
a
flutter.
Multiple
Twitter
users
had
shared
the
picture.
Prima
facie
there
is
no
case.”
“Police
is
trying
to
create
media
hype,
media
frenzy.
Police
are
abusing
their
power.
They
wanted
my
(Zubair’s)
laptop
because
I
am
a
journalist
and
there
is
various
sensitive
information
in
it.
They
want
a
fishing
enquiry,”
Grover
said.

KPS
Malhotra,
Deputy
Commissioner
of
Police
(Intelligence
Fusion
&
Strategic
Operations),
told
PTI
that
a
four-member
police
team
will
be
sent
to
Bengaluru
on
Wednesday
to
Zubair’s
house
as
part
of
investigations
to
recover
the
evidence,
including
the
mobile
phone
or
laptop
used
by
him
for
posting
the
tweet
in
question.

Earlier
this
month,
a
case
was
registered
against
Zubair
under
sections
153A
(promoting
enmity
between
different
groups
on
grounds
of
religion,
race,
place
of
birth,
language
etc.)
and
295A
(deliberate
and
malicious
act
intended
to
outrage
religious
feelings)
of
the
Indian
Penal
Code
(IPC).
But
as
per
Delhi
Police,
he
was
arrested
in
connection
with
one
of
his
tweets
that
had
a
questionable
image
with
a
purpose
to
deliberately
insult
the
god
of
a
particular
religion.

Meanwhile,
the
Mumbai
Press
Club
condemned
the
arrest
of
Mohammad
Zubair.
In
a
statement,
the
Mumbai
Press
Club
said,
“Zubair
should
be
released
immediately.
We
also
request
Prime
Minister
Narendra
Modi
and
Home
Minister
Amit
Shah’s
immediate
intervention
in
this
matter.”

Many
other
journalists’ organizations
have
also
condemned
Zubair’s
arrest
by
the
police
in
the
national
capital.
Alt
News
co-founder
Pratik
Sinha
has
alleged
that
Zubair
was
arrested
in
a
case
for
which
no
notice
was
given
by
the
police,
which
is
mandatory
under
law
for
the
sections
under
which
he
has
been
held,
the
Mumbai
Press
Club
noted
in
the
statement.
PTI


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