Opposition Leaders Denounce Alt News Co-founder Zubair’s Arrest

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AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

NEW DELHI – Reacting to the arrest of Alt News co-founder and fact-checking journalist Mohammed Zubair, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said “the arrest of one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more”.

“Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more. Truth ALWAYS triumphs over tyranny”, said Gandhi in a tweet using the hashtag #DaroMat.

Journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday evening on charges of hurting religious sentiments under sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The police had registered a case after getting a complaint from a twitter handle, where it was alleged that Zubair had tweeted a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately hurt religious sentiments.

Terming the arrest as an assault on truth, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor demanded his immediate release. “India’s few fact-checking services, especially @AltNews, perform a vital service in our post-truth political environment, rife with disinformation. They debunk falsehoods whoever perpetrates them. To arrest @zoo_bear is an assault on truth. He should be released immediately,” said Tharoor in a tweet.

Former Minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also tweeted and said: “Altnews & @zoo_bear have been in the forefront of exposing the bogus claims of the Vishguru, who has struck back with a vengeance characteristic of him. Delhi Police, reporting to the Union Home Minister, has long lost any pretensions of professionalism and independence”.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday condemned the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair by the Delhi Police.

He termed the arrest highly condemnable. “He’s been arrested with no notice & in some unknown FIR. Total violation of due process,” tweeted Owaisi.

He also wrote that Delhi Police does nothing about anti-Muslim genocidal slogans but acts swiftly against “crime” of reporting hate speech and countering misinformation.

Leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) also condemned Zubair’s arrest. TRS social media convenor Krishank Manne strongly condemned the arrest.

“If posting Nupur Sharma’s communal statements on Twitter is a Crime then Delhi Police should first arrest the BJP leader. Did they,” ask Krishank, who is Chairman of the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC).

“Praise Gandhi ji’s Murderers u will be made Member of Parliament. Expose BJP u will be Jailed,” the TRS leader tweeted. — IANS

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