Pratik Sinha, co-founder of AltNews, has announced on social media that the platform firmly stands by fellow co-founder Mohammed Zubair after an FIR was registered against him under the stringent POCSO Act for online harassment of a girl child. The statement said that an attempt was being made to ‘hound’ Mohammed Zubair and AltNews firmly stands by his side.
The statement said, “An attempt is being made to hound co-founder of Alt News, Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) through misuse of legal apparatus. Alt News stands by Mohammed Zubair. Zubair has been in the forefront of fighting fake narratives, and his work hurts those who have weaponised misinformation to subvert the Indian democracy.”
FIR lodged against Mohammed Zubair
Priyank Kanoongo, the chairperson of the NCPCR, said on the 5th of September that according to the action taken report (ATR) received by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, an FIR has been lodged against AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair under stringent POCSO Act for online harassment of girl child. He also informed that as per the request made by Twitter India, an additional time of 10 days has been provided to them to provide relevant information.
NCPCR sought action against the AltNews co-founder
On August 8, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had taken cognizance of a matter where a minor girl child was threatened and tortured by AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair on the microblogging site. Priyank Kanoongo had informed that Twitter India and the concerned law enforcement officials had been informed about the tweet, and they have been asked to take appropriate action.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Delhi, Nodal Cyber Cell officer, saying that the commission has received several complaints seeking action against Zubair under POCSO or relevant acts for “stalking of a minor girl on Twitter”.
Co-founder of AltNews shares the photo of a minor girl to intimidate the grandfather
On August 7, Zubair indulged in an online spat with a Twitter user Jagdish Singh. The AltNews co-founder targetted a minor girl in his Twitter fight with this social media user. Instead of replying to the user directly, Zubair had brazenly referred to a minor girl seen in the profile picture of the user Jagdish Singh, presumably his granddaughter.
After Zubair had highlighted the minor girl seen in the photo, Islamists had started to issue rape threats to the girl. Zubair’s tweet came under heavy criticism from social media users who accused him of shamelessly using a child to get back at a critic.