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UP Police Form SIT For 'Expeditious' Probe Into Cases Against Alt News’ Md Zubair In Various Districts


Separate FIRs have been lodged against Zubair in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Hathras districts on various charges.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted by Uttar Pradesh for an "expeditious probe" into fresh cases lodged against Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair. According to reports, the SIT has been asked to conduct a 'transparent' probe and submit a charge sheet in the court.  Police officials have informed that separate FIRs have been lodged against Zubair in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Hathras districts on charges of hurting religious feelings, making sarcastic remarks on news anchors, disrespecting Hindu gods and inflammatory posts.

The directive by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government comes hours after the Supreme Court extended the interim bail granted to in the case registered against him at Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY. Chandrachud and AS Bopanna extended the interim bail and listed the matter for final disposal on September 7. The bench noted that the state government seeks time to file a counter affidavit and allowed the government to file a reply within four weeks and rejoinder within two weeks thereafter.

The SIT will be headed by Inspector General (Prisons) Preetinder Singh. DIG Amit Kumar Verma has also made a part of the SIT. The aforementioned officials will be assisted by three deputy superintendents of police/inspectors.

According to Police, the Sitapur FIR was lodged on June 1 under Indian Penal Code section 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and section 67 of the IT Act on a complaint by Hindu Sher Sena district president Bhagwan Sharan.

The complaint filed by Sharan accuses Zubair of calling three Hindutva leaders- Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop - "hate-mongers".

The top court's directive to extend the interim bail granted to Zubair came on a plea by him seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him at Sitapur.

Zubair was granted an an interim bail for five days in connection with a case registered against him by the Uttar Pradesh Police for a tweet, where he allegedly called Hindu seers 'hatemongers'.

In Lakhimpur, the case was lodged on November 25 last year by Ashish Katiyar, a reporter for a private news channel.

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