While Prime Minister Narendra Modi promotes “free speech, online and offline” in the G7 speech in Munich, Germany with many world leaders in attendance, back home, journalist and co-founder of Alt News Mohammad Zubair’s arrest has spread like wildfire evoking strong condemnation from journalists, politicians, and intellectuals.
With Twitter and other social media platforms pouring large support for Zubair, there is a section of individuals and media organisations that are creating fake news against the arrested journalist.
On Tuesday, Republic TV broke a news with #ZubairHypocrites stating that they have exclusive rights to the remand copy. They also claimed that Zubair refused to join the investigation. However, so far no copy of the FIR or remand has been given to Zubair’s lawyer.
Sharing Republic TV’s tweet of Zubair’s remand copy, Alt News’s other co-founder Pratik Sinha stated, “It is interesting that Republic has the remand copy because Zubair’s lawyers haven’t been provided the copy despite multiple requests to the concerned police personnel.”
Following this, India Today tweeted from their official Twitter page that according to “their sources” from the Delhi Police Cyber Cell, Rs 50 lakhs was transferred to Zubair’s account in the last three months.
Again, Pratik took to Twitter to clear the confusion by tweeting he had a copy of Zubair’s personal bank statements which debunks this falsehood.
Meanwhile, many media organisations have lent their support to Zubair and have demanded for him to be released immediately.
Reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment in the G7 meet to ensure a resident democracy by protecting online and offline content, the Editors Guild of India demanded the immediate release of Mohammad Zubair.
The Digipub of India expressed that injustice is being pelted on Zubair. In a release, it said, “It is unjustifiable that stringent laws are being used as tools against journalists, who have been accorded the role of playing watchdog against the misuse of institutions of the state.”
The Press Club of India said that the action by the Delhi Police by hastily arresting Mohammad Zubair showed the blatant violation of the country’s commitment to the global platform given by none other than the Prime Minister himself.
Furthermore, an international independent, nonprofit organization, The Committee to Protect Journalists, has also written a piece on Zubair’s arrest.