New Delhi, June 28 (KMS): Many including Opposition leaders, journalists and rights activists and thousands of social media users in India are calling for Alt News co-founder and journalist Mohammed Zubair to be immediately released.
Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them.
Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 27, 2022
India’s few fact-checking services, especially @AltNews, perform a vital service in our post-truth political environment, rife with disinformation. They debunk falsehoods whoever perpetrates them. To arrest @zoo_bear is an assault on truth. He should be released immediately.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 27, 2022
Arrest of @zoo_bear is highly condemnable. He’s been arrested with no notice & in some unknown FIR. Total violation of due process. @DelhiPolice does nothing about anti-Muslim genocidal slogans but acts swiftly against “crime” of reporting hate speech & countering misinformation
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) June 27, 2022
Delhi Police bending over backwards to please sahibs & thumb nose at law.@zoo_bear arrested on trumped up case w/o notice while assisting in case where HC given him protection.
While Ms. Fringe Sharma enjoys life of protection at tax payer expense for EXACT same offences.
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) June 27, 2022
Digipub condemns in the strongest possible terms the arrest of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt News. pic.twitter.com/POYEaGIdAI
— DIGIPUB News India Foundation (@DigipubIndia) June 27, 2022
Zubair, one of the founders of fact-checking website AltNews, was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday on charges of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity.
The case is based on a complaint made by a right-wing Twitter handle ‘@balajikijaiin’ this month, alleging that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable” image to “deliberately insult the god of a particular religion”, police said.
AltNews co-founder Pratik Sinha said Zubair was called to Delhi for questioning in a different case from 2020, in which the court has given him protection against arrest. But he was arrested in this new case instead, without mandatory notice, Sinha said. “No FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests.”
The Muslim journalist has been under attack from Hindu nationalists for calling out hate speech by several Hindu monks and Hindutva politicians including Yati Narsinghanand, Mahant Bajrang Muni, Anand Swaroop and Nupur Sharma.
Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted against the arrest and criticised the BJP government. “Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more,” he said.