Delhi: The Patiala House court on Saturday reserved its order on the bail plea of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair as well as the police application seeking his 14-day judicial custody in a case related to his ‘objectionable tweet’ he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity, according to a report by Indian Express.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria is likely to pass an order on both applications later in the day.
Earlier during the day, Delhi Police produced Zubair before the court on the expiry of his five-day custodial interrogation. Police told the court he was not required for custodial interrogation but sought his judicial custody. Following this, Zubair’s counsel moved a bail application before the court on the ground that her client was not required for the investigation any further, according to the report.
The Pakistan & Middle East link
The Delhi Police IFSO unit on Saturday said that it has noticed during its social media analysis that the Twitter handles that had tweeted in support of Zubair after his arrest were "mostly" from Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan.
"During social media analysis, it was noticed that Twitter handles supporting Mohammad Zubair after his arrest, were from Pakistan and mostly Middle Eastern countries like UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait," said the IFSO unit official.
The police further said that from the analysis of the reply received from Razorpay Payment gateway, various transactions, with phone numbers or IP addresses outside India, were from locations including Bangkok, Manama, North-Holland, Singapore, Victoria, New York, England, Riyadh Region.
The other locations, as stated by the police, include Baladiyat ad Dawhah, Sharjah, Stockholm, Aichi, Central, Western and Eastern Provinces of UAE, Abu Dhabi, Washington DC, Kansas, New Jersey, Ontario, California, Texas, Lower Saxony, Bern, Dubai, Uusimaa, and Scotland.
"A total of about Rs 2,31,933 have been received by Pravda Media, Alt News parent company," the police said.
Delhi Police have, hence, added three new Sections — 201 (for the destruction of evidence - formatted phone and deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, in the matter.
Earlier, the case was registered under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, etc) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code).
Delhi Police arrested Zubair on 27 June in a case related to an objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity. He was produced in the court on Saturday and police sought his 14-day judicial custody in the case. His four-day police custody ended on Saturday.
The FIR against Zubair was lodged on 20 June based on the complaint filed by the duty officer of the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes.
Delhi Police said that Zubair has been evasive during questioning and did not cooperate in the investigation. "He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation," said Delhi Police senior officials.
With inputs from agencies
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