New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Monday arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair on charges of “promoting enmity” and “hurting religious sentiments”. The IFSO unit of Cyber Cell filed a case under sections 153 and 295 of IPC against the Alt News co-founder.
The charges are based on his Twitter posts in which the Delhi Police was also tagged. He will be produced in a court tomorrow.
Following the arrest, Alt News Co-founder Pratik Sinha said, “Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2022 case for which he already had a protection against arrest from 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,” said Sinha.
Meanwhile, in a statement on the arrest, the Delhi Police said, “Zubair has been arrested in a case filed against him recently under IPC sections 153A and 295A. It was regarding a tweet that was questionable on legal dimensions. This case had serious repercussions as far as the religious fabric is concerned.”
IPC Section 153 deals with wantonly giving provocation with the intent to cause riot — if rioting be committed — if not committed. And IPC Section 295 deals with injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.
The police further said, “Today during the course of investigation of a case registered against Mohammed Zubair, he joined in the investigation and after having sufficient evidence on record, he was arrested. He is being produced before the duty magistrate for seeking further PC remand.”
The police have alleged that Zubair was evasive on the questions and did not cooperate. “During investigation, conduct of Mohd Zubair was found questionable, which warranted his custodial interrogation to unravel conspiracy in this matter,” news agency ANI cited officials.
The case against him pertains to a picture, shared on Twitter, in a signboard of a ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ could be seen changed to ‘Hanuman Hotel’.
Objecting to the image, 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 said.
The picture and words used against a particular religious community are highly provocative and done deliberately which are more than sufficient to incite hatred among people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquility, the Delhi Police said.