The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday formed a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the six cases filed against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in various parts of the state. The SIT will investigate the two cases lodged against Zubair in Hathras, and one each in Sitapur, Ghaziabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Muzaffarnagar.
The SIT formed by the UP government will comprise Inspector General Dr Preetinder Singh, currently posted at Department of Prisons Administration and Reform and Deputy Inspector General of Police Amit Verma, the UP Police said in a statement. Preetinder, a 2004-batch IPS officer, has been made president of the SIT.
Zubair is currently lodged at Delhi’s Tihar jail. The cases against him include charges related to hurting religious sentiment for calling Hindu seers ‘hatemongers’, promoting enmity, misleading people on Twitter about a news channel, and making posts insulting to Hindu deities.
The local police will be handing over Zubair’s case files to the SIT team, senior officials said, adding that the team was formed in order to probe Zubair’s case in a transparent manner, reported The Indian Express. The police has not filed chargesheets in any of the cases related to Zubair so far.
The SIT will be taking assistance from the Additional Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspector-rank officers, police said.
A Lakhimpur Kheri court on Monday had sent Zubair to a 14-day judicial remand for allegedly promoting enmity. The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended Zubair’s five-day interim bail till further orders in connection with the Sitapur case. However, no relief was in sight for Zubair as he continues to be in judicial custody at Delhi’s Tihar jail in connection with another case against him.