The Uttar Pradesh government Tuesday formed a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe six cases lodged against Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair. Of the six cases, two cases are lodged in Hathras district while one case each is registered in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar.
Inspector General Dr Preetinder Singh, who is presently posted at Department of Prisons Administration and Reform, has been made president of the SIT, while Deputy Inspector General of Police Amit Verma is a member of the SIT, stated a press-release issued by UP Police.
Preetinder is a 2004-batch IPS officer. Verma, who is a 2008-batch IPS officer, is presently posted at UP Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) department.
Zubair, who was lodged at Sitapur jail in UP, was sent to Tihar jail in Delhi Monday evening.
A senior official said the SIT has been formed for fair and transparent investigation in the cases lodged against Zubair.
Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar said, local police will hand over all documents related with the case to the SIT for probe.
According to the police, the SIT will nominate Additional Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspector-rank officers for help in investigation. The SIT will be free to take help of the local police where cases are lodged and after completing investigation will file a chargesheet.
According to UP Police, the cases in Hathras and Sitapur were lodged this year while other cases against Zubair were lodged in 2021.
The cases against Zubair are lodged in different districts of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly making sarcastic comments against a news channel anchor, hurting sentiments of Hindus, making objectionable comments on deities and uploading provocative posts. The cases are lodged on various charges including promoting enmity between two groups and deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
Chargesheet has not been filed in any of the cases so far.
On Monday, a local court in Lakhimpur Kheri sent Zubair to 14-day judicial custody in a case registered against him for allegedly promoting enmity. Zubair appeared before the Lakhimpur Kheri court through video conference.
Meanwhile, Lakhimpur Kheri police moved an application seeking 14-day police custody of Zubair. The court will hear the police plea seeking his custody on July 13. The case in Lakhimpur Kheri was filed last September on a court directive.
Zubair was arrested by Delhi Police a week ago for allegedly hurting religious sentiment. The Sitapur police of Uttar Pradesh have sought his remand in a case for alleged objectionable comments against seers on Twitter. On July 8, the Supreme Court granted five-day interim bail to Zubair in the case filed in Sitapur. On Monday, Zubair filed a bail plea in a Delhi court.