Alt News co-founder and journalist Mohammed Zubair was arrested by the Delhi police on Monday, June 27.
Zubair was summoned by Delhi Police for questioning in connection with one case but was then booked in a different case, sources said. The journalist was accused of trying to cause communal disharmony and arrested on the basis of that FIR.
“No FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests,” Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha tweeted following the arrest.
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.
Many politicians, journalists and activists have immediately condemned the arrest.
“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,” tweeted Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
“He is being produced before the magistrate for seeking further PC remand for the purpose of the investigation of the case,” police have informed the media in a statement.
Recently Twitter had withheld several tweets made by Zubair calling out the hate speeches made by Hindu nationalists.
On 3 June, authorities in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district launched an inquiry into Zubair after he tweeted that three right-wing Hindu monks were “hatemongers.”
(More to follow)