Mohammad Zubair, co-founder of the fact-finding website Alt News, which spreads false information in the Indian media, was arrested on Monday and remanded in police custody overnight, said KPS Malhotra, deputy head of Delhi’s cybercrime department. Was placed in
Malhotra said Zubair was arrested under two sections of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with maintaining religious harmony.
Zubair often tweets criticism of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for what he and other critics claim is a violation of the rights of the country’s nearly 200 million Muslims.
Zubair’s lawyer, Colpet House, said the reporter was summoned for questioning about his social media posts about the 2020 criminal investigation – which had previously prevented him from being arrested by the Delhi High Court. But when she responded to the summons, police arrested her for another case, she said.
The house revealed a police complaint to CNN in which Twitter user Zubair was accused of insulting Hindus on the platform in 2018, in a post that changed the name of a hotel to Hindu.
She accused the authorities of not following proper procedures and not informing Zubair.
Malhotra, the deputy commissioner, did not respond to CNN questions about whether police had followed proper procedures at the time of his arrest.
Zubair’s recent social media posts include videos of him claiming that Hindu extremists spread hatred against Islam, a minority religion in India where nearly 80% of the population is Hindu.
Zubair’s arrest has angered politicians, journalists and news organizations, who have called for his release.
Shashi Taroor, a member of India’s opposition Congress party, said the arrest was an “attack on reality”.