UP Police forms SIT to probe cases against Zubair

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Lucknow, 12 July: The Uttar Pradesh Police constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday to look into incidents involving fact-checker Mohammed Zubair.

The development came on the same day that the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Zubair in a case filed against him in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh. The respite, however, is limited to the Sitapur case, and the procedures in Delhi and Lakhimpur against Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, would continue unaltered. This implies he will remain in prison. Zubair had police cases filed against him in Sitapur, Lakhimpur, Hathras, and Muzaffarnagar.

In the Sitapur case, the police accused Zubair of hurting religious sensibilities and referenced a May tweet in which he referred to Hindu leaders Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni, and Anand Swaroop as “hatemongers”.

In the Lakhimpur case, a Sudarshan News staffer filed a complaint over Zubair’s tweet last year.

According to the complainant, the tweet misled viewers regarding Sudarshan channel’s coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The so-called fact-checker was detained for the first time on June 27, by Delhi Police over a four-year-old tweet, only days after he flagged a video of now-suspended BJP lawmaker Nupur Sharma making offensive statements about Prophet Mohammed .