The Lakhimpur Kheri police obtained a warrant against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case lodged at Mohammadi police station last year on charges of promoting enmity between two groups, for hurting religious sentiments through a tweet.

The FIR was filed in September last year at the Mohammadi police station in response to a Lakhimpur Kheri court order, and a warrant was issued to Zubair at the Sitapur district jail on Friday, asking him to appear before the court by July 11.

“The Lakhimpur Kheri court has summoned Zubair in court on July 11,” Superintendent of Police, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sanjeev Suman said, adding that it was the jail officials’ responsibility to produce Zubair in court.

According to the police, a person named Ashish Kumar Katiyar filed a case accusing Zubair of circulating false news on Twitter in order to disturb communal harmony. Accordingly, a case was lodged against Zubair under Section 153-A (promoting enmity between two groups) of the Indian Penal Code.

In his complaint, Katiyar had stated that the Alt News co-founder played a malicious role in uniting Muslims, across the world, against India and peddling communal discord even during the Coronavirus pandemic. The FIR names Zubair as the first accused and Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication as other accused. The FIR mentions that on May 14, 2021, Zubair made an allegedly fake claim on Twitter against Sudharshan News. The tweet in question is one where Zubair said Sudarshan News TV had “used a pic of Al Masjid an Nabawi from Madina, superimposed it with an old pic from Ghaza, with graphics bombing the mosque.” Zubair wrote in the tweet, “Is this reporting or trying to incite violence?” He tagged the UP police and Noida police to take action.

The FIR against him states that Zubair allegedly appealed to Muslims to unite, and attempted to poison the minds of people using anti-national sentiments. The complaint adds that Zubair’s tweet amounts to spreading hate which can lead to a war-like situation in the country. It also states that many shared and retweeted Zubair’s tweet in an attempt to spread anti-national sentiments.

Zubair was brought to Sitapur two days ago from Delhi, where he was detained in connection with a separate case filed last week. Zubair was produced before a local court in Sitapur by Delhi Police, which sent him to six days’ police custody in the Sitapur case.

After the Supreme Court granted Zubair bail in the Sitapur case against him, he has two more warrants pending against him – one from Delhi and another from Lakhimpur Kheri.

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