Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Officials said on Tuesday that his “objectionable tweet of 2018 led to a Twitter storm with hate speeches, detrimental to communal harmony”.
Zubair formatted phone: Police
“In such cases, finding the gadget used to post such tweets and the intention behind posting such a tweet is important. During questioning, he was evasive on both fronts. We found out that his phone was formatted. His evasiveness formed the grounds for his arrest,” KPS Malhotra, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations) had said.
Earlier this month, a case against Zubair 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 (IPC), the DCP said.
However, he was arrested in connection with one of his tweets that had a questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion, he said. Police said the case was registered on the complaint of a Twitter user who accused Zubair of hurting religious sentiments.
His arrest drew condemnations from various quarters, including journalists’ bodies and Opposition parties. On Monday, Sinha alleged that Zubair was arrested in a case for which no notice was given by the police, which is mandatory under law for the sections under which he has been held.
BJP lashes out at opposition parties
Meanwhile, the BJP on Tuesday lashed out at opposition parties, especially the Congress, for protesting against the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad and Zubair, alleging that they were working as part of a “poisonous ecosystem” where one offender protects another if anyone is caught.
Slamming the Congress for joining the protest against the arrests, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia accused it of supporting and opposing judicial actions as per its convenience and asked if the opposition party has any faith in the judiciary or not.
Mamata slams Centre
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also lashed out at the BJP-led Centre over the arrests of Zubair and Setalvad for “trying to expose the truth” and wondered how those who spread hatred among communities are roaming free.
“Why have you arrested Mohammed Zubair and Teesta Setalvad? What wrong have they done? Does speaking out the truth or exposing the truth a crime? Those who are speaking out against this government are either harassed by using agencies or are arrested,” Banerjee said during a party meeting in Asansol in Paschim Bardhaman district on Tuesday.
In an apparent reference to controversial remarks by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma on Prophet Mohammad, she alleged that those who spread hatred and violence in the country are not being arrested.
(With inputs from agencies)