Muhammad Zubair, one of the founders of fact-checking website Alt News, was arrested by the Delhi Police this evening for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets. Several political leaders have criticised the BJP-led Central government over his arrest.
The Delhi Police reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra slammed the Delhi Police for "bending over backwards to please sahibs". She said Muhammad Zubair was arrested "on a trumped up case" even as "Ms Fringe Sharma enjoys life of protection".
Delhi Police bending over backwards to please sahibs & thumb nose at law.@zoo_bear arrested on trumped up case w/o notice while assisting in case where HC given him protection.— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) June 27, 2022
While Ms. Fringe Sharma enjoys life of protection at tax payer expense for EXACT same offences.
Suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma's controversial comment on Prophet Mohammad earlier this month had triggered a widespread violence in several states and attracted criticism from several countries.
"Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more," wrote Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.
Every person exposing BJP's hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 27, 2022
Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more.
Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny. #DaroMatpic.twitter.com/hIUuxfvq6s
Srinivas BV, Youth Congress President, wrote "Nupur Sharma remains untouched while @zoo_bear gets arrested for calling out the wrongdoings. We strongly condemn this act."
Busting fake news, propaganda of Godi Media, exposing the hate speech of BJP is the reason he's being arrested?— Srinivas BV (@srinivasiyc) June 27, 2022
Nupur Sharma remains untouched while @zoo_bear gets arrested for calling out the wrongdoings. We strongly condemn this act.#IStandWithZubairpic.twitter.com/m5wt1tmRXH
"It is much easier to cry foul when someone not from your own party is allegedly hurting religious sentiments.Arrest @NupurSharmaBJP, and show the country that the same rules apply to all," read a tweet by the official Twitter handle of the Trinamool.
"What an irony that the person who made hate speech is roaming free while the journalist who uncovered it is detained," wrote Kerala MLA MK Muneer.
Strongly condemn the arrest of journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair by Delhi Police. This is shameful and unacceptable.— Dr. M.K. Muneer (@MKMUNEER) June 27, 2022
What an irony that the person who made hate speech is roaming free while the journalist who uncovered it is detained.#IStandWithZubairpic.twitter.com/ZeacrZM2MJ
Mr Zubair was arrested in connection with one of his tweets that had a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion. He had sent out that tweet in March 2018.
Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha alleged that Zubair was arrested in a case for which no notice was given by the police, which is mandatory under law for the sections under which he has been held.
Police acknowledged that Mr Zubair was originally being questioned in an older case but was arrested in the new case "after having sufficient evidence on record". He is still being questioned and police will present him before a magistrate tomorrow to seek further custody, it is learnt.