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Mehbooba, Omar, Tarigami condemn Zubair’s arrest

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Speaking truth is being criminalised by the present BJP regime, says PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti

 

Parties in Jammu and Kashmir have condemned the police action against Muhammad Zubair, journalist and co-founder of the fact checking site Alt News, and demanded his release.

“Speaking truth is being criminalised by the present BJP regime. It started with Kashmir after 2019 when journalists were booked and arrested under the UAPA and Public Safety Act (PSA). The same is being applied outside Jammu and Kashmir. Now, Zubair has been arrested for reporting facts. These are black days of Indian democracy,” Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said.

 

She said Mr. Zubair’s arrest had come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was attending the G-7 meeting and signed a joint document to protect freedom of expression. “My worry is that India’s situation might get worse than China’s. Remember India is considered the largest democracy of the world. However, its foundations, secularism and democracy are being violated,” Ms. Mufti said, demanding the release of Mr. Zubair.

“We saw Teesta Setalvad being arrested for putting up a fight for rights and justice for people. The Indian civil society needs to do more,” she added.

Sharing the tweet of Mr. Zubair that has him arrested and a ‘provocative’ tweet of BJP’s Naveen Kumar Jindal on Twitter, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “Only one of these tweets will get you arrested for hurting religious sentiments and no prizes for guessing which one. There isn’t even the pretence of equality under law any longer”.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also condemned Mr. Zubair’s arrest by the Delhi Police.

“The Modi-led BJP government uses strong-arm tactics to muzzle the voice of those who expose its false propaganda and hate speech. It is very unfortunate that journalists like Zubair, who highlight the truth and hold mirror to the government, are being witch-hunted and booked under flimsy charges while the hate mongers are roaming freely,” Mr. Tarigami said. He demanded the immediate release of Mr. Zubair.

The Hindu

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