Delhi-Based Businessman Behind Arrest Of Alt News' Md Zubair, Does Not Belong To Any Party: Police

Delhi-Based Businessman Behind Arrest Of Alt News' Md Zubair, Does Not Belong To Any Party: Police

Police said on Wednesday that the Twitter user whose complaint led to the arrest of fact checker and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was a Delhi-based real estate businessman, PTI reported. The businessman, who operates the Twitter handle @balajikijaiin under the name ‘Hanuman Bhakt’, belongs to Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Even though police did not disclose the name of the businessman, they said he does not belong to any political party.

“The investigation has revealed that the anonymous Twitter handle was operated by a 36-year-old real estate businessman who originally hails from Ajmer in Rajasthan and presently lives in Dwarka,” a police official told PTI.

The businessman was tracked following a response from Twitter using an IP address. He was also sent a formal notice to join the probe. The businessman said in his statement to the police that his religious sentiments were hurt, PTI reported.

Two days after Zubair’s arrest, the businessman deleted his Twitter account, However, he reactivated it the next day with the same name and handle. The account has been suspended.

The businessman had moved from Ajmer to Delhi some years ago with his family.

Zubair was arrested on June 27 in connection with one of his tweets in 2018 in which he allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of a community.

As per the FIR, Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie that 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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He was in custody for 24 days and was charged under IPC 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).

In July, the Supreme Court granted bail to Zubair in all the six FIRs registered by the Uttar Pradesh Police in different districts over his tweets and clubbed these FIRs with the Delhi FIR.

(With inputs from agencies)