Journalist Muhammed Zubair booked for calling Hindutva leaders ‘hatemongers’

Muhammed Zubair, co-founder of Alt News(fact-checking website)

An FIR against Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair has been filed in Khairabad police station in Uttar Pradesh for his tweet calling militant Hindutva leaders – Yati Narasinghanand, Mahant Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop, “hatemongers.”

Section 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 and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act has been charged against Zubair based on the complaint of district head of Rashtriya Hindu Sher Sena, Bhagwan Sharan.

Zubair condemned the prime time debates on Indian news channels concerning the recent Gyanvapi Mosque issue. He took an aim at the channels, which in his words “have become a platform to encourage hate mongers to speak ill about other religions.”

The complainant referred to this particular tweet shared by Zubair on Twitter, which is a video clip of Times Now channel debate titled ‘The Gyanvapi Files’, moderated by anchor Navika Kumar. The complainant said his religious sentiments were hurt by Zubair’s tweet, which referred to his “Honourable Mahant Bajarang Muni as hatemonger.” He further alleged that Zubair incited Muslims to kill Hindu leaders.

Yati Narsinghanand, the head priest of Ghaziabad’s Dasna Devi Temple and the main organiser of the Haridwar anti-Muslim genocidal event had a long history of hate speech. In several instances he has exhorted people to take up arms against Muslims. He is associated with several right- wing leaders who has a history of hate speech against minority Muslims like Kapil Sharma and Ashwni Upadhyay.

Mahant Bajrang Muni, priest of the Badi Sangat Ashram threatened mass sexual violence against Muslim women in the presence of the police on the occasion of the Hindu new year on April 2nd.