For the past 10 days, India's leading fact-checker and journalist Mohammed Zubair, who recently spotlighted the ruling party spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial comments against the Prophet Muhammad, has spent most of his time shuttling between prisons and courts.

Since his arrest, he has been moved around by the police in and out of a courtroom in Delhi and then, as newer charges were piled on him, he was taken to a remote town on the India-Nepal border for investigations.

Delhi police arrested him on 27 June over a 2018 tweet for "insulting Hindu religious beliefs". Later, they invoked other charges against him that included criminal conspiracy, destroying evidence and receiving foreign funds.

Days later, police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh took over his custody. They accused him of using an "offensive term - hatemongers" to describe three Hindu religious leaders who were seen in videos engaging in hate speech, inciting violence against Muslims or threatening to rape Muslim women. On Friday, the Supreme Court granted him a five-day temporary bail in the case after hearing that he was facing death threats.

But the 39-year-old will remain in custody until he's granted bail in the original case for which Delhi police have arrested him.

A telecoms engineer based in the southern city of Bangalore, Mr Zubair co-founded Alt News in 2017 with former software engineer Pratik Sinha to combat fake news.

Over the past five years, the website has played a key role in debunking claims that spread disinformation about religion and caste and unscientific myths.

With over 3,000 articles which have been viewed over 60 million times, Alt News has been in the crosshairs of the government pretty much from the time of inception in 2017 - especially because of its focus on fake videos and messages that target India's minority Muslim community. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post