Cases against fact checker M Zubair to be investigated by UP special teams

Fact checker Mohammed Zubair was first arrested by Delhi police on June 27

New Delhi:

Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday formed a Special Investigation Team or SIT to investigate the cases against fact checker Mohammed Zubair. The development comes on the day the Supreme Court extended the interim bail of the fact-checker in a case filed against him in Sitapur in UP.

The relief, however, is limited to the Sitapur case and the lawsuits against Mr Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, in Delhi and Lakhimpur will not be affected. That means he will still be in jail.

The SIT has been asked to quickly investigate and submit an indictment to the court, said the additional director general (law and order), Prashant Kumar.

The SIT will be led by IG (Prison) Preetinder Singh.

Mr Zubair, who faces six police cases in UP, has FIRs registered against him across the state in Sitapur, Lakhimpur, Hathras and Muzaffarnagar.

In the Sitapur case, police accused Mr Zubair of hurting religious feelings and cited a tweet in May in which he called Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop – Hindu leaders accused of having made provocative speeches.

In the Lakhimpur case, the complaint was filed by a Sudarshan News employee over a tweet by Mr Zubair last year. The tweet, the complainant says, misled people about the Sudarshan Channel’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

The fact checker was first arrested by Delhi police on June 27 over a four-year-old tweet, days after he flagged a video of now-suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s provocative remarks against the Prophet Mohammed.