Mohammed Zubair had several FIRs against him for outraging religious feelings prior to this arrest

New Alternatives Co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested by Delhi police on June 27. A “highly provocative” tweet which Delhi police said was “more than enough to incite hatred”.

Sequence of events: Zubair was recently in the eye of the storm during the Nupur Sharma controversy. Zubair was accused of amplifying an edited clip of what the former BJP spokesperson said during a TV chat, after which she received death threats.

  • On June 1, UP police reserved Zubair under IPC Section 295A (willful and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) as well as Section 67 (publishing or transmitting material obscene in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act.

  • Another FIR was registered on June 20 under IPC Sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between different groups) and 295-A (malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings). The arrest was made under this FIR.

  • The complaint is based on Zubair’s tweet from March 24, 2018 which read: “Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel,” along with an image of a hotel sign.

  • After the arrest, Zubair was brought before a court in Delhi. He was sent for a day in police custody to the Special Cell for Fusion of Intelligence and Strategic Operations.

Zubair’s past record: Zubair himself acknowledges that this is the fifth or sixth complaint filed against him.

  • Ghaziabad Police had filed an FIR against him and five others on June 15, 2021 for sharing a video on Twitter with the deliberate and malicious intent to foment religious discord.

  • Police had booked Zubair under the POCSO Act in September 2020 after posting a photo of an underage girl in response to an online spat.

  • Zubair’s tweets and Facebook posts mocking Hinduism have gone viral for some time. He also deleted his Facebook account on June 13.

Zubair support: Various journalists and politicians have spoken out in favor of Zubair.

  • Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Everyone who speaks out against BJP hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Stopping one voice of truth will only stir up a thousand more. Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny. #DaroMat.”

  • Shashi Tharoor appreciated New Alternatives“fact-checking services” and called Zubair’s arrest “an assault on the truth”, calling for his immediate release.

  • Condemning Zubair’s arrest, Asaduddin Owaisi said: ‘Delhi Police are doing nothing against anti-Muslim genocidal slogans, but are moving swiftly against the ‘crime’ of reporting hate speech and countering disinformation. .

  • Rohini Singh, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Fatima Khan, Rana Ayyub and other journalists, TRS and CPI(M), and TMC executives like Mahua Moitra and Derek O’Brien also expressed their support for Zubair.

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