Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair booked for revealing identity of student in UP school slap case

On Friday, a video of the school teacher Tripta Tyagi went viral in which a Muslim student was seen being slapped by his classmates for allegedly not doing his homework.
Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair (Photo | Mohammad Zubair Twitter)
Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair (Photo | Mohammad Zubair Twitter)

LUCKNOW: A case was lodged against fact-checking website Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, on Monday, for allegedly revealing the identity of the seven-year-old Muslim boy who was slapped by his classmates on the instructions of teacher Tripti Tyagi, 60, of Neha Public School in Khubbapur village of Muzaffarnagar district in western UP recently.

As per the police sources, the case was registered against Zubair, who was among the first to post the video of the private schoolteacher making communal remarks while encouraging other students to slap the victim in the class. However, Zubair allegedly removed the video minutes later, citing a call by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to remove the videos from X, formerly known as Twitter.

The FIR was registered against the Alt News co-founder under Section 74 (prohibition on disclosure of identity of children) of the Juvenile Justice Act based on a complaint filed by a person named Vishnu Dutt of Muzaffarngar. Section 74 of the JJ Act bars publication of any report in any newspaper, magazine, audio-visual media or other forms of communication “regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure”, and disclosing “the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter.

Meanwhile, Zubair told the media persons that he had not received any notice or call from the Muzaffarnagar police. It was through social media that he came to know about the case against him.

“I was checking the FIR, and it does not have any other name barring me. There were several media outlets that posted the video before and after me. I removed the post after I was told that I was disclosing the minor’s identity. This has happened to me before in 2020 as well. I was targeted… This shows the police can target anyone,” he told the media persons.

However, the district police authorities said that an investigation into the charge against Zubair was on.

Meanwhile, besides sealing the school building on Sunday, the district authorities also initiated the process to de-recognize the school from UP Education Board.

Besides, the Uttar Pradesh Police booked the alleged teacher in the video and under Sections 323 (causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code ordered a probe into the incident.

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The New Indian Express