Eminent propagandist Saba Naqvi and co-founder of ‘fact-checking’ website Alt News Mohammed Zubair have appeared before the UP Police to record their statement in the Loni fake hate crime case.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had earlier registered an FIR against Saba Naqvi, Zubair and others for sharing a manipulated video to allege that an elderly Muslim man had been thrashed for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram.
Umer Pahalwan Idris, a Samajwadi Party leader, has already been arrested for giving a communal colour to the crime. He had appeared on a Facebook Live video to castigate Hindus over the matter.
This video, along with one another muted video (which now stands deleted) of the incident where the victim was being assaulted, was shared on social media handles by people like Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair and several others, namely Rana Ayyub, The Wire, Salman Nizami, Maksoor Usmani, Sama Mohammad and Saba Naqvi. Zubair claimed that Abdul was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as he was beaten up and tried to give the incident a communal angle.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government had also filed an FIR on June 15 against Twitter for failing to flag the video with unverified claims as ‘manipulative’ and lack of action. Alt News co-founder Zubair, Rana Ayyub, The Wire, Salman Nizami, Maksoor Usmani, Sama Mohammad and Saba Naqvi have also been booked for spreading misleading and fake news.
The accused in the fake hate crime case had turned out to be Muslim and the crime was committed over personal animosity.