In a latest development, Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair finds himself entangled in a police complaint filed by Bittu Bajrangi, chief of the ‘Gauraksha Bajrang Force,’ for allegedly spreading fake news related to the life-threatening attack on Bittu Bajrangi’s brother.
The incident in question occurred on December 13, when Bittu Bajrangi’s brother, Mahesh Panchal, was subjected to a life-threatening attack outside his shop in Faridabad. The accused reportedly poured thinner on him and set him on fire, resulting in severe injuries with 60 percent burns. Mahesh is currently undergoing treatment.
Bittu Bajrangi filed the police complaint on December 28, accusing Mohammad Zubair of running a “fake news factory.” The complaint, portrays Zubair as a “fundamentalist and radical communalist.”
According to Bajrangi, Zubair spread false information about the attack when his brother is in a critical condition. The complaint alleges that Zubair, under the guise of being a fact-checker, intentionally spread misleading news about the incident.
The complaint reads, “This is a well-planned conspiracy not only to save the accused but also to kill the victim by putting him through mental agony.”
Bajrangi contends that the misinformation originated from a left-leaning female journalist at ‘Hindustan Times,’ who, without recording the police version, published a baseless news report on December 13, 2023. Zubair subsequently amplified this news without verifying it with the police and encouraged other media organizations to join the misinformation campaign.
ACP Aman Yadav, leading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the case, refuted Zubair’s claims while speaking to another media organisation on December 25. Bittu Bajrangi plans to file a complaint against HT Media with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The complaint also raises suspicions about Zubair’s potential involvement in the attack, citing his history of sharing misleading news during the Nuh violence. It calls Zubair a “vicious criminal” with several previously registered cases in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Referring to past incidents influenced by Zubair’s rumors, such as violence against Nupur Sharma and her supporters and the negative impact on the Kamlesh Tiwari murder case, the complaint seeks strict action against Zubair.
In a video released on December 24, Bittu Bajrangi accused Zubair and ‘Hindustan Times‘ of spreading false news about the attack on his brother. He urged authorities to take strict action against Zubair for spreading fake rumors and causing trouble for his family.
The controversy revolves around a specific HT report, shared by Zubair, which claimed that Bittu Bajrangi’s brother had fabricated the story of the attack on himself. OpIndia’s investigation found that police officials denied the claims made in the HT report, stating that the matter is still under investigation.
A case has been registered with the Faridabad Police regarding the attack on Bajrangi’s brother, and it is currently being investigated by the SIT of Haryana Police. The complaint further mentions a news report by journalist Leena Dhankhar in ‘Hindustan Times,’ claiming that the Faridabad Police stated that Bittu Bajrangi’s brother got burnt after falling into a bonfire, and there is no evidence of an attempt to murder him.
The complaint concludes by urging authorities to consider Mohammad Zubair’s potential involvement if there are any future deadly attacks against Bittu Bajrangi or his family. The case adds another layer to the ongoing discussions surrounding the influence of fake news and its consequences.