Alt News parent company received ₹2 lakh from foreign countries: police

‘Most of the Twitter users supporting Zubair after his arrest were from middle-east countries’

July 02, 2022 11:11 pm | Updated 11:11 pm IST - New Delhi

The Delhi Police on Saturday said Pravda Media Foundation, under which the fact-checking website Alt News operates, received over ₹2 lakh from various transactions in which either the phone numbers or the IP addresses belonged to foreign countries.

The police on Saturday had produced Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of Alt News, before a court here over a case related to an “objectionable” tweet that he had posted in 2018. Mr. Zubair has been sent to 14-day judicial custody and his bail plea has been dismissed.

International transactions

According to a statement by the Delhi Police, from the analysis of a response received from payment gateway Razorpay, the transactions received had either an international phone number or the IP address belonged to foreign cities or countries, including Bangkok, Western Australia, Manama, North Holland, Singapore, Victoria, New York, England, Riyadh Region, Sharjah, Stockholm, Abu Dhabi, Washington, Kansas, New Jersy, Ontario, California, Texas, Lower Saxony, Bern, Dubai and Scotland.

The statement further said a total of ₹2,31,933 was received by Pravda Media.

It was also noticed that the Twitter handles that had supported Mr. Zubair after his arrest were mostly of users from middle eastern countries like UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Pakistan, the police added.

The Hindu reached out to Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha regarding the claims by the Delhi police but no response was received till the time this report was published.

New provisions added

The Delhi police had arrested Mr. Zubair in the case on June 27. New provisions have been added to the case — Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Initially, Mr Zubair was booked under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC.

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