New Delhi: Delhi Police on Monday arrested Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on the charges of promoting enmity and insulting religious beliefs. Zubair was booked under sections 153A (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Delhi Police said.
According to police, a complaint was received against the co-founder through Twitter regarding a tweet by Zubair.
He was called for questioning today after which the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Zubair, police said. Zubair will be presented in Patiala House court and the police will seek his custody.
Pratik Sinha, co-founder of Alt News, commented on his colleague`s arrest and wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Mohammed Zubair’s old Hinduphobic posts surface online
On 13 June 2022, days after India witnessed violent protests that saw Islamists running riot, indulging in violence over the alleged insult of Prophet Muhammad, Twitter user The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeye) shared a collage of past tweets and posts by Mohammed Zubair mocking Hindu Gods and beliefs.
In one of the tweets shared by The Hawk Eye, Zubair is seen mocking Shivling and comparing it with the top view of the Vatican City. He said the post comparing Shivling with the Vatican City inspired him to come up with a parody Facebook page ‘Unofficial: Subramanian Swamy’ in 2014.
Apparently, one of the posts on the Facebook page ‘Unofficial Mohammed Zubair‘ mocks Arun Govil to take a swipe at Lord Ram, suggesting that ISRO must consult the actor because he would know more about the rocketry.
Another post by ‘Unofficial Mohammed Zubair’ shows an aeroplane under the water with the caption: “Breaking: Underwater Pushpak Vimana used by Raavan 5000 years found in the Indian Ocean.”
Besides ridiculing Hindu Gods, Zubair has also poked fun at Hindu beliefs and took a dig at Sanskrit, regarded as one of the most important languages of Hinduism and the means of communication by the Hindu Gods.
As his Hinduphobic posts started getting traction, with netizens sharing screenshots to highlight how Zubair has been moving and hurting the sentiments of Hindus, the AltNews co-founder quietly pulled down his Facebook page. A few days later, he deleted the controversial tweets as well.