Zubair case: Delhi Police seek details of ‘Hanuman Bhakt’ account from Twitter

Delhi Police has sent a notice to social media giant Twitter seeking details of the account that led to the arrest of fact-checking website Alt News’ co-founder Mohammed Zubair, sources said on Friday.

The Twitter account Hanuman Bhakt, bearing username as — @balajikijaiin had alerted Delhi Police over Zubair’s four-year-old “objectionable” post on social media.

The 33-year-old fact-checker is currently under police custody and was taken to his Bengaluru residence on Thursday. According to the FIR, accused Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie which showed an image of a hotel, with its board reading ‘Hanuman hotel’ instead of ‘Honeymoon hotel’.

In his tweet, Zubair had written, “BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel”.

The complainant i.e. the Twitter user @balajikijaiin, tagging the Delhi Police had written, “Linking our God Hanuman Ji with Honeymoon is a direct insult of Hindus because he is a brahmchari. Kindly take action against this.”

Noting the complaint, the police in the FIR said that the words and pictures used by Zubair in the tweet against a particular community were highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feelings of hatred amongst people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquility in the society.

It was the only tweet that was done from the said account which ultimately led to Zubair’s arrest and interestingly, the said account no longer exists on the social media platform.

The issue of this account’s veracity also surfaced during Zubair’s hearing on Tuesday. His counsel Adv Vrinda Grover had said that if an anonymous Twitter handle chose to create mischief in the country, those reasons should be investigated.

The prosecutor, in her reply, said that the said account user is just a mere informer. “He is not an anonymous complainant. His details are here. Without details, no one can get a Twitter account,” the prosecutor replied.

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