Mohammed Zubair booked under FCRA, received donations from Pakistan, Syria

The Delhi Police have filed new charges against journalist Mohammed Zubair, who co-founded Alt News and was detained days earlier for hurting religious emotions through various social media posts. Zubair has filed a petition for bail.

Mohammed Zubair is accused of criminal conspiracy by the Delhi Police, who also claim that the defendant received donations from other nations. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, has been added as Section 35 to the FIR.

The Special Public Prosecutor for Delhi Police in a case involving an offensive tweet by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair is Atul Shrivastava.

“Donations have come from Pakistan and Syria. Zubair is the director of Pravda media,” public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court, adding that money was also received from Singapore, the UAE and Riyadh.

As the co-founder of Alt News was today brought before a court, the Delhi Police also requested his custody for an additional two weeks. However, the police have not requested additional incarceration for questioning.

The Delhi High Court requested a response from the Delhi Police earlier on Friday in response to a petition filed by journalist and co-founder of Alt News Mohammad Zubair contesting his four-day police detention and confiscation of his personal devices in relation to hiss tweet.

Both the main petition, which contested a trial court judgement on June 28 giving police four days of custody of Zubair, and an interim motion asking for “restitution of all electronic devices seized from the accused,” received notifications from Justice Sanjeev Narula.

The police were given two weeks by the court to submit their response, and the subject was scheduled for hearing on July 27.

Jubair has been charged with violating sections 153A of the Indian Penal Code (which encourages animosity between religious groups) and 295 (which prohibits damaging or defiling places of worship with the aim to disparage the religion of any class) (IPC).