A local court in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on Monday sent Alt News co-founder and prominent Muslim journalist Mohammed Zubair to 14 days’ judicial custody in a case registered against him last year after he tweeted about Sudarshan TV’s fake news.
The case in Lakhimpur Kheri was filed in September last year on a court directive.
The FIR charged Zubair under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between two groups) after a Sudarshan TV reporter, Ashish Kumar Katiyar, complained that he had accused the channel on Twitter of using a doctored image of the famous Madina mosque in a graphic depicting an Israeli rocket attack on the Gaza strip in 2021.
The complaint pertains to this tweet of May 15, 2021:
Sudarshan TV is a right wing propaganda news channel it broadcasts only racist and Islamophobic contents. The channel was criticised by the Supreme Court in 2020 for targeting Muslims in its programming.
Zubair, who is lodged at the Sitapur district jail, appeared before a local court in Lakhimpur Kheri through video conference.
“Zubair appeared before the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Ruchi Srivastava through video conference in the case. The court sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody remand,” said additional prosecuting officer (Lakhimpur Kheri) Awdhesh Kumar.
This is the fourth set of charges – one for a 2018 tweet, one for alleged FCRA violations, one for a May 2022 tweet against hate-mongers and now one for a 2021 tweet against fake news – thrown at the prominent fact-checker is less than two weeks by the police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.