New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India (EGI)'s long-standing statement on the arrest by Delhi Police of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who openly insulted Hindu gods and goddesses, has come to the fore. Condemning Zubair's arrest, the Editors Guild has demanded the Delhi Police to release Mohammed Zubair immediately. The EGI in its statement said, "Giving a bizarre twist to the events, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had summoned Mohammed Zubair for questioning. This was a case of 2020, in which the High Court has granted him relief from arrest. When Zubair responded to the summons, he was arrested under a criminal investigation launched this month. An unknown identity and Twitter handle had accused one of his 2018 tweets of inciting religious feelings.''
The Editors Guild of India condemns the arrest of Muhammad Zubair, co-founder of the fact checking site AltNews, by the Delhi Police on June 27, for a tweet from 2018. EGI demands that the Delhi Police should immediately release Muhammad Zubair. pic.twitter.com/q9uYqFxaPA— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) June 28, 2022
The EGI, in its statement, said the arrest of Mohammed Zubair by invoking Sections 153 and 295 of the IPC is highly disturbing as its website AltNews has done "exemplary" things in marking fake news in the recent past and has "cut off disinformation campaigns." The EGI has claimed that Zubair has done all this in a factual and objective manner. At the same time, the EGI has said that Zubair had revealed on TV a "poisonous statement" of a ruling party spokesman, which caused the party to make changes. But, amidst all this, there is a big question that arises on the EGI, when Zubair himself has said that he is not a journalist, then what is the need for him to argue with the EGI? Let us know that some time ago, the same EGI's food supply statement came to light on the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami by the Mumbai Police. In which the EGI had just said that the police should behave well with Arnab. Neither did the EGI seek his release, nor was it asked on what charges Arnab had been arrested on. In such a situation, the question arises that the attitude of the EGI on the arrest of a journalist (Editor in Chief) is different, while the arrest of a non-journalist (Zubair himself has said that he is not a journalist) starts arguing, why?
The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement on the arrest of Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV. pic.twitter.com/gL3MstVlla— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) November 4, 2020
Even in its statement, the EGI has not mentioned Zubair's anti-Hindu posts, nor the fake news spread by them. While EGI is a respected institution associated with journalism. But this dual attitude has raised the question, of whether the EGI supports the Zubair, who spread enmity among communities by spreading fake news? Or does it consider its job to raise its voice for some political parties? Is this journalism, which Zubair, who hid the insult to the Shivling and edited only Nupur Sharma's video and conveyed it to the Arab countries? If he was a true fact-checker, he would put up the entire video, in which the first Muslim panellists were constantly using abusive language about the Shivling and Nupur Sharma commented on the Prophet in retaliation for not being able to bear the insult of his beloved. In this way, if someone kills you, you will become a criminal in killing him by turning him back and that is what Zubair did. If Nupur has made a wrong statement, then she has given it in response to a wrong statement, then who is the first culprit? But the EGI seems to have started looking at the same look and wants to show the same to the world. If the entire video of Nupur had been played on the media, then from the Muslims of the country to the Islamic countries, they would have known on whose behalf the controversial statements on religion started. Will the EGI question Zubair on the baseless allegations against India around the world because of that edited video? If the EGI can't ask Zubair, then unilateral statements should be stopped.