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Delhi Police notices support for Alt News' Mohd Zubair tracing to Pakistan

New Delhi : Delhi Police IFSO unit on Saturday said that it noted the support for Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair tracing to Pakistan and "mostly" some middle eastern countries. The police stated that they noticed the development during their social media analysis. It also said that a total of about Rs 2,31,933 has been received by Pravda Media, Alt News' parent company. "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..." said the police. The police further said that Zubair received donations from Pakistan, Syria, Australia. The other locations include, according to the police, include Baladiyat ad Dawhah, Sharjah, Stockholm, Aichi, Central, Western and Eastern Provinces of UAE, Abu Dhabi, Washington DC, Kansas, New Jersey, Ontario, California, Texas, Lower Saxony, Bern, Dubai, Uusimaa, and Scotland. "We need the custody of this accused to investigate all this," the police said. However, Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Zubair in the Patiala House court in Delhi said that the entire exercise of the police is "mala fide in nature". "The story started with a 4-year-old tweet. Is it a crime to change the sim card, or reformat the phone? They made a mockery of the direction of the Delhi High court. The FIR was registered on June 20. However, the notice was given in another case" the lawyer stated. Grover further claimed that no technical person was accompanied when Zubair was taken to Bangaluru. "They didn't take any technical person with them to Bangalore. Kindly see the seizure memo, one laptop, one hard disc have been seized," she said. Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Mohd Zubair stated that 'the mentioned tweet belonged to film 'Kissi Se Na Kehna' by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, it's a lovely comedy & was allowed by censor board...They say the tweet is provocative & sensitive, but still no direction from Twitter to remove it'. Grover said that the conspiracy-related Section cannot be invoked as Zubair is the only accused. "Conspiracy-related section cannot be invoked as I'm only accused .... Invocation of section 35 is a practice to prejudice... They have been given power not to abuse... Police informed the media that there are many transactions," she said. Earlier, Delhi Police sought judicial custody of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair after his 4-day remand ended on Saturday. The police have also alleged conspiracy and destruction of evidence in the case by the accused and the relevant sections of the same were added in the FIR. Meanwhile, Atul Shrivastava has been appointed as the Special Public Prosecutor for Delhi Police in a case related to an alleged objectionable tweet by Zubair. The police also stated in the court that Zubair received donations from foreign countries. Delhi Police have added three new Sections - 201 (for the destruction of evidence - formatted phone and deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, in the matter. The accused was produced before the Patiala House court in Delhi today after the end of his 4-day police remand. The FIR against Zubair was lodged on June 20 based on the complaint filed by the Duty Officer of the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes. Zubair was arrested and sent to one day of police custody after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him based on a Twitter posting, which another Twitter handle alleged "hurt Hindu sentiments." Delhi Police said that Zubair was evasive during questioning and did not cooperate in the investigation. "He was evasive on the questions and neither provided the necessary technical equipment for the purpose of the investigation nor cooperated in the investigation," said Delhi Police senior officials.

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