Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of the fact-checking website Alt News, was arrested on Monday for a 2018 tweet, in which he had posted a clip from famed filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1983 romantic comedy, Kissi Se Na Kehna.
Delhi Police said the case was based on a Twitter complaint from a user with the username @balajikijaiin who calls himself Hanuman Bhakt. The handle countered a tweet posted by Zubair in 2018, which showed an image of a hotel sign repainted from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel.”
YouTuber Dhruv Rathee tweeted said, “According to the Delhi police, Zubair is arrested because an anonymous Twitter account with a follower complained that his feelings are hurt. But Komal Sharma could not be arrested despite video evidence of violence. What a joke this whole system is!”
Zubair had captioned this picture with, “Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel, After 2014: Hanuman Hotel.” An FIR was filed over a complaint from Delhi Police Sub-Inspector Arun Kumar, who was allegedly monitoring social media when he came across a tweet from a handle named “Hanuman Bhakt”, objecting to Zubair’s tweet.
@balajikijaiin’s tweet directed at the Delhi police was published on June 19. The handle was created in October 2021 and had only posted one message as of Monday night: the one calling on the Delhi police to take action against Zubair.
The complainant in the case is Sub-Inspector Arun Kumar, who works with the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) Cell which operates under the Special Cell and handles cybercrime cases and cyber forensics. The FIR was registered on June 20 under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295-A (malicious acts, aimed at outraging religious sentiments) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a complaint from Kumar.
Kumar was on duty as an emergency duty officer for the social media monitoring cell and came across a tweet from a Twitter user, Hanuman Bhakt @balajikijaiiin, the FIR stated.
“Today, I was present at the IFSO (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations) unit of Delhi Police, Dwarka as an emergency officer, and while monitoring social media, I noticed that a Twitter handle, Hanuman Bhakt, shared a tweet against another Twitter handle: Mohammed Zubair @zoo_bear in which Mohammed Zubair tweeted ‘before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel, after 2014: Hanuman Hotel… and has shown a picture of a sign of a hotel, “honeymoon hotel changed to Hanuman hotel,” Kumar stated in his complaint.
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