Oppn slams Zubair’s arrest: ‘Hate speech not punished, those reporting it are’

Opposition parties Monday condemned the arrest of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair and accused the BJP government of clamping down on those who “expose its hate speech and fake propaganda”.

The main opposition Congress, Trinamool Congress, the Left parties, RJD and the AIMIM slammed the government, accusing it of not acting against those who make hate speeches and instead targeting those who report them.

The IFSO ( Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations) unit of Delhi Police arrested Zubair today, days after registering an FIR based on a complaint by a man who had tagged the Delhi Police on social media, alleging that Zubair hurt his religious sentiments and legal action should be taken against him. An FIR under IPC Section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295-A (malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) was registered against him earlier this month.

“Every person exposing BJP’s hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them.

Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more. Truth always triumphs over tyranny. Daro Mat,” senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a Twitter post.

His party colleague Jairam Ramesh said AltNews and Zubair have been at the “forefront of exposing the bogus claims of the Vishguru, who has struck back with a vengeance characteristic of him.”

“The Delhi Police, reporting to the Union Home Minister, has long lost any pretensions of professionalism and independence,” he added.

Condemning the arrest of Zubair, who he called “one of the world’s finest journalists who exposes the BJP’s fake news factory” every single day, Trinamool Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, “for the all power you wield, you are essentially COWARDS.”

Demanding the immediate release of Zubair, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said “the Modi government is insecure and threatened by anything that exposes the fake hate machine of misinformation.”

AIMIM leader and Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi said the arrest of Zubair is highly condemnable.

“He’s been arrested with no notice and in some unknown FIR. Total violation of due process. Delhi Police does nothing about anti-Muslim genocidal slogans but acts swiftly against “crime” of reporting hate speech and countering misinformation,” he said.

RJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha concurred. “Making hate speech is no crime but reporting/exposing such speeches are criminal activities and that’s why Zubair has been arrested. And Irony dies hundred deaths. The great LEADER invokes Emergency in the land of Third Reich and allows dissent in any form to be killed at home,” he said.

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