#IStandWithZubair Trends After Journalist Mohammed Zubair Arrested For Allegedly Hurting Religious Sentiment

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The Logical Indian Crew

'#IStandWithZubair' Trends After Journalist Mohammed Zubair Arrested For Allegedly Hurting Religious Sentiment

An FIR was registered against Mohammed Zubair under the IPC Sections 295-A and 153-A. The journalist was remanded in police custody for a day and would be produced in Delhi court for a bail hearing after Tuesday.

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The Delhi Police on June 27 arrested Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of online fact-checking website Alt News, on charges of promoting enmity and hurting religious sentiments. He has also been sentenced to police custody for a day.

The entire case is based on an official complaint filed by a Twitter user this month, who goes by the name '@balajikijaiin', claiming that Zubair had shared a tweet with a "questionable" image and it "deliberately" insulted "the god of a particular religion", said the police. Zubair shared this post in March 2018, reported Financial Express.

Hurting Religious Sentiments

An FIR was registered against Zubair under the IPC Sections 295-A (malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153-A (prompting enmity between different groups). The journalist was remanded in police custody for a day and would be produced in Delhi court for a bail hearing after June 28.

Earlier in June, Zubair had pointed out the remarks passed by the then BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma regarding Prophet Mohammed, which ignited nationwide protests and violence as well, along with largescale condemnation from a host of nations.

The fury prompted the central government to distance themselves from Sharma's remarks and the ruling BJP to suspend her and sack party spokesperson Naveen Kumar Jindal.

Reaction To Zubir's Arrest!

The opposition has slammed Zubair's arrest, including the Congress, TMC, AIMIM, RJD and the Left parties, who have all accused the BJP of cracking down on individuals who "expose its hate speech and fake propaganda".

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said: "arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more". Numerous other Opposition leaders also expressed their "shock" at the arrest, called it a "violation of due process", and called for Zubair to be "released immediately".

Furthermore, the hashtag "#IStandWithZubair" also started trending on Twitter, where a section of netizens extended their support towards the arrested Alt News journalist.

Right after the arrest, Alt-News co-founder Prateek Sinha also had taken to Twitter and said: "Zubair was called today by Special cell, Delhi, for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had protection against arrest from the High Court. However, today at around 6.45 pm, 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."

Here, Sinha was referring to a case that dates back to September 2020, where the police had booked Zubair under the POCSO Act after he had replied to an abusive message from a user on Twitter. However, the Delhi High Court had restrained the police from taking coercive action against him in connection with that case.

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Writer : Snehadri Sarkar
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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Snehadri Sarkar