The woes of Alt News co-founder and fact checker Mohammad Zubair does not seem to end. In the latest development in the string of cases registered, a local court in Lakhimpur Kheri sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody. Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said what is happening to Zubair is a blot on nay civil society and rule of law.
Mohammad Zubair, who is already lodged at the Sitapur district jail, in the similar case was sent to judicial custory in a case registered against him last year. Meanwhile, Lakhimpur Kheri police has also moved an application in a local court seeking 14 days’ police custody of Zubair to question him. The court will hear the plea on July 13.
Zubair is likely to be taken to Delhi for his appearance in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Mohammed Zubair had moved Supreme Court citing threat to life and pleaded for urgent hearing. In his plea Zubair challenged the Allahabad High Court’s decision to refuse quashing of the FIR registered against him for a controversial tweet in which he allegedly referred to three Hindu seers — Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop — as ‘hate mongers’.
It must be noted that a controversial soundbite derogatory of Prophet Mohammad, uttered by the BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma was put on the social media by Mohammad Zubair. This slip went viral and caught attention of the Muslims worldwide prompting a heavy diplomatic backlash from more than a dozen influential and otherwise friendly nations to take objection against the utterances of Nupur Sharma.
While the ruling party BJP distanced itself from it’s own spokesperson terming her “a fringe element”, there has been police cases against Mohammad Zubair for his more than four years old tweets. Incidentally the tweet by Zubair which is termed as promoting enmity between groups was a joke from a 1983 film.
“His work is to verify news, and he was doing the role of fact-checking hate speeches. The FIR clearly shows that there is no crime. We went to Allahabad High Court, but no relief was granted. Bail is sought in an emergency. There are death threats to Zubair on social media,” Mohammad Zubair’s advocate said.