New Delhi [India], June 28 (ANI): The Delhi Police on Tuesday sought an extension of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair's custodial interrogation by five more days who was arrested in connection with an "objectionable" tweet.
While seeking remand of Zubair, the Delhi Police lawyer said, "We have arrested him as he was not cooperating during the investigation. When he joined the probe, all applications were deleted from the mobile phone. He came with a blank phone."Delhi Police submitted that "We have to recover laptops and other concerned electronic gadgets from which it was posted. So there is a required police remand of him."Delhi Police also said that nowadays a trend is going on Twitter that in order to increase followers on the social media platform, they opt to make objectionable remarks by targeting a community. Police said various other FIRs have also been registered against him in different matters.
Mohammed Zubair's counsel tells the court that the photo alleged to be edited by him is actually from an old Hindi film.
Appearing for Mohd Zubair, Advocate Vrinda Grover submitted that there is no editing that the accused or anyone else has done. "Allegations against him are totally baseless. His phones are with them (Delhi Police). The image, which has been shown as a reason for arresting comes from a Hindi cinema," Grover said.
Vrinda Grover (on behalf of Zubair) further said, "Zubair is a fact-checker. He exposes lies on social media. That's why many people dislike it. He lives in Bangalore. He was called in Delhi for questioning. The notice was given for some other case and the arrest took place in another case."Delhi Police presented that the probe is based on a tweet which was made in 2018. "Now, the Police are asking for Zubair's old mobile phone which is used in 2018. It's lost now and I also reported for that and I have a lost article report, submitted Mohd Zubair Lawyer.
After the conclusion of the arguments, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanigda Sanwariya reserved the order for some time and said will pass the order shortly.
Mohd Zubair was produced on Tuesday by Delhi Police before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Patiala House court. He was arrested yesterday in connection with an objectionable tweetEarlier today, the Delhi Police said AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair had intentionally formatted his phone and also refused to co-operate with authorities in the investigation against him in connection with an "objectionable" tweet, providing grounds for his arrest.
Zubair was arrested on Monday for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community in a Twitter post he had written in 2018.
"Mohd Zubair's objectionable tweet led to a Twitter storm with hate speeches, detrimental to communal harmony. Two things including technical gadget and intention was important. He was evasive on both, the phone was formatted. This formed grounds for his arrest," said KPS Malhotra, DCP IFSO.
"If someone is booked in several cases it's our right to question him in all. Judiciary is involved, custody given, bail not granted, there must be some substance to case. Calling it politically motivated doesn't stand right. We'll ask for more remand," said KPS Malhotra, DCP IFSO (Intelligence FusionStrategic Operations) unit of the Delhi Police.
Zubair was arrested and sent to one day of police custody after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him based on a Twitter posting, which another Twitter handle alleged "hurt Hindu sentiments."Delhi Police said that Zubair was evasive during questioning and did not cooperate in the investigation. "He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation," said Delhi Police senior officials.
"The said post of Mohd. Zubair containing picture and words against a particular religious community are highly provocative and done deliberately which are more than sufficient to incite hatred among people which can be detrimental for the maintenance of public tranquillity," the Delhi Police said in a statement.
DCP Malhotra said: "If you endorse a view on social media, it becomes your view. Retweeting and saying I don't know, doesn't stand here. The Responsibility is yours. Time does not matter, you only have to re-tweet and it becomes new. Police action was taken on basis of when the matter came to our cognizance."The FIR against Zubair was lodged on June 20 based on the complaint filed by the Duty Officer of the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes.
According to duty officer Arun Kumar, while he was monitoring social media, he saw a tweet shared by a person with the Twitter name 'Hanuman Bhakt' and Twitter ID @balajikijai. The shared tweet was Mohammad Zubair's and contained "objectionable" words.
"Today, I was present in IFSO (Intelligence FusionStrategic Operations) unit of Delhi Police, Dwarka as an emergency officer, and during social media monitoring, it came to notice that a Twitter handle Hanuman Bhakt shared a tweet against another Twitter handle - Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear in which it has been tweeted by Mohammed Zubair 'before 2014: Honeymoon hotel, after 2014: Hanuman Hotel...and has shown a picture of a signboard of one hotel, "honeymoon hotel changed to Hanuman hotel," Kumar stated in his complaint.
The screenshot of the board is from a Hindi movie."These words and the picture found to be used by Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear against a particular religious community and are highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred amongst people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquility in the society. Transmission and publication of such posts has been deliberately done Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear through electronic media to insult the religious feelings of a particular community with intent to provoke breach of peace which attracts offence under Section 153-A and 295..From the contents of the post from Twitter handle Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear, offence 153-A and 295 is made out," the FIR further stated.
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. (ANI)