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Twitter user in Mohammed Zubair arrest case is ‘Delhi businessman’ from Ajmer

The handle currently displays the message “Account suspended”, with a line from Twitter that it “suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules”.

mohammed zubair arrestMohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website AltNews (Express Photo)

The Twitter user whose post led to the arrest of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair by the Delhi Police in June for allegedly hurting religious sentiments is a 36-year-old real estate businessman who lives in Delhi’s Dwarka and hails from Ajmer in Rajasthan, The Indian Express has learnt.

The Twitter user, who posted his tweet against Zubair under the handle @balajikijaiin and the name “Hanuman Bhakt”, has recorded his statement before the police in the case, sources said. The police traced him after receiving a response from Twitter about his IP address, the sources said.

The handle currently displays the message “Account suspended”, with a line from Twitter that it “suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules”.

In June, the user had tagged the Delhi Police, asking them to take action against Zubair for a tweet he had posted in 2018. The Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit, which handles cyber crime, then filed a case against Zubair and arrested him on June 27.

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Sources told The Indian Express that after tracking down the user, the police sent him a notice, asking him to record his statement. “He came to IFSO’s office in Dwarka and told the police that his religious sentiments were hurt after he saw the tweet,” said a police source, adding that he does not appear to be affiliated to any political party.

Police sources said he shifted to Dwarka a few years ago and lives with his family. “He had deleted his discount on June 29 but it was back up by June 30 evening,” said the source.

During Zubair’s remand hearing in a Delhi court on June 28, Zubair’s lawyer Vrinda Grover had opposed the police application, arguing that the Twitter account in question was an anonymous handle made to create mischief. She had argued that the account was made to target her client and that the user had to be investigated by the police.

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Rebutting this argument, the Additional Public Prosecutor had submitted that this was “not an anonymous Twitter handle”. “He 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 had argued.

Later, a notice under Section 91 of CrPC was sent to Twitter India on June 29 in which the investigation officer informed the social media platform about the case. “We asked them to provide IP log details of the Twitter handle @balajikijaiin, registration details of the account, mobile number, connected email ID, and device used by the user,” a police source said.

On July 20, Zubair was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court, which also disbanded the Special Investigation Team formed by UP to probe six separate cases against him, and underlined that there was no justification to keep him in continued custody.

First published on: 31-08-2022 at 04:20:23 am
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