Alt News’ Zubair’s tweet sufficient to incite feelings of hatred: Delhi police to HC

The police submitted that the journalist can move the lower court to get them back on completion of the analysis.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has told the High Court that Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair’s 2018 tweet against a particular religious community was “highly provocative and done deliberately” which is more than sufficient to incite feelings of hatred among people. The police also told the court that the seized computer devices of Zubair are under analysis with the Forensic Science Laboratory in the national capital.

The police submitted that the journalist can move the lower court to get them back on completion of the analysis. “…during police custody remand, one laptop, two invoices and one hard disk have been recovered from the residence of accused Mohd. Zubair on the basis of disclosure statement which are admissible under Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act, which are to be looked upon at the time of trial..,” the police said in its affidavit.

The police also said “Mohd. Zubair had remained non cooperative during the investigation. He also disclosed that he has asked his family to dispose off his equipment including his mobile phone and laptop in case he is arrested/apprehended by police.”

Zubair was charged under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) for one of his objectionable tweets.

“Transmission and publication of such posts have been deliberately done by Mohammed Zubair through electronic media to insult the religious feelings of a particular community with the intent to provoke breach of peace,” read the FIR.

As per the FIR, Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie which showed an image of a hotel, with its board reading ‘Hanuman hotel’ instead of ‘Honeymoon hotel’. In his tweet, Zubair had written, “BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel”.

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