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Business News/ News / India/  Alt News parent company received over 2 lakh from foreign countries: Police
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Alt News parent company received over ₹2 lakh from foreign countries: Police

Pakistan and Syria among the list of countries from which Alt News parent company Pravda Media received donations, said police

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair. (Twitter)Premium
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair. (Twitter)

In latest development in a case pertaining to Mohammed Zubair in which he was arrested for promoting enmity between religious groups through social media post, the police on Saturday said that Pravda Media, the parent comany of Alt News of which Zubair is the co-founder, received funds amounting to 2,31,933 from foreign countries.

During social media analysis, it was noticed that Twitter handles supporting Mohammad Zubair after his arrest, were from Pakistan and mostly middle eastern countries like UAE, Bahrain & Kuwait, said the police.

According to the police, from the analysis of the reply received from Razorpay Payment gateway, various transactions, with phone numbers or IP addresses outside India, were from locations incl Bangkok, Manama, North-Holland, Singapore, Victoria, New York, England, Riyadh Region.

Locations also included Baladīyat ad Dawḩah, Sharjah, Stockholm, Aichi, Central, Western & Eastern Provinces of UAE, Abu Dhabi, Washington DC, Kansas, New Jersey, Ontario, California, Texas, Lower Saxony, Bern, Dubai, Uusimaa, & Scotland.

As per the Delhi Police, the donations received by Pravda Media are from Pakistan, Syria, therefore it is considering the case with gravity, adding that “it's not just a case of a simple tweet."

In addition, the Delhi Police have added three new Sections - 201 (for the destruction of evidence - formatted phone & deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of FCRA in the matter.

A bail application has been filed by the counsel for Mohd Zubair.

"The mentioned tweet belonged to film 'Kissi Se Na Kehna' by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, it's a lovely comedy and was allowed by censor board. They say the tweet is provocative & sensitive, but still no direction from Twitter to remove it," said Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Mohammed Zubair.

“It is not a time-barred case. It is still a continuing offence as the tweet is still there. When the film was released, it was not the age of the internet," said Atul Shrivastava, representing the Delhi Police.

“The accused is Pravda Media director, he smartly deleted everything. In such circumstances, bail application should be dismissed, the deletion of data from phone after FIR is an important aspect of the case," said the Delhi Police.

“I was not aware of the FIR and phone was not summoned. It's not illegal to format my phone. It is not arms and ammunition, or a drug. It's not illegal to format my phone. I take serious legal and constitutional objections," said Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Mohammed Zubair.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police sought the Alt News co-founder's custody for another two weeks as he was produced in a court today. However, the police have not sought further custodial interrogation.

Yesterday, the Delhi high court on Friday sought a response from the Delhi Police on a plea by journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair challenging his four-day police custody and seizure of his electronic devices in connection with a tweet he posted in 2018.

Justice Sanjeev Narula issued notices on both the main petition that challenged a trial court order on June 28 of granting four days of custody of Zubair to police as well as an interim application that sought “restoration of all electronic devices seized from the accused".

Zubair, who recently flagged controversial comments on Prophet Mohammed by suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday over the tweet they said was objectionable. He was produced before a duty magistrate later that night and was sent to one-day police custody initially.

The journalist was initially booked for offences under sections 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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Published: 02 Jul 2022, 01:55 PM IST
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