Twitter user in Mohammed Zubair case tracked down in Dwarka
The Twitter user whose complaint resulted in the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a 2018 tweet, has given his testimony to the Delhi Police. Police told The Indian Express that they tracked down the user approximately a week after Zubair's arrest in June. He is identified as a 36-year-old real estate businessman from Ajmer, Rajasthan, and currently staying in Dwarka, Delhi.
Why does this story matter?
- In June, the Delhi Police arrested Zubair after registering an FIR based on a complaint by a social media account over his 2018 tweet.
- Later, Uttar Pradesh Police booked him in two separate cases in Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri.
- However, the Supreme Court (SC) granted him bail in all cases filed against him by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Statement from Delhi Police's IFSO unit
A senior official of the Delhi Police's Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) told HT that the Twitter user's statement was recorded on June 30 or July 1. "This is part of our investigation process. He will be contacted again during trial," the official said. Notably, the IFSO is handling and probing many cyber crimes and social media-related matters cases including against Zubair.
What triggered the complaint?
In June, the user @balajikijaiin and the name "Hanuman Bhakt" tagged the Delhi Police on Twitter. He asked the police to take action against Zubair for a tweet he had posted in 2018 which hurt religious sentiments. After filing the case, the matter was referred to the IFSO unit which then filed a case against Zubair and arrested him on June 27.
Complainant not affiliated with any political party: Police.
"He (the complainant) came to IFSO's office in Dwarka and told the police that his religious sentiments were hurt after he saw the tweet," police sources told The Indian Express. They added that he does not appear to be affiliated with any political party.
Police sought Twitter India's help in the case
The Indian Express, while quoting police sources, said that Twitter India provided some classified details in the case after a notice under Section 91 of CrPC was sent to it on June 29. "We asked them to provide IP log details of the Twitter handle @balajikijaiin, registration details of the account, mobile number, connected email ID, and device used by the user," police said.
Zubair out on interim bail
In addition to disbanding the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that had been assembled by UP to look into six different cases against Zubair, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to him on July 20 and emphasized that there was no rationale for keeping him in custody. His counsel had argued that the Twitter user in question was unknown and set up to cause trouble.