A Delhi court on Tuesday remanded journalist Mohammed Zubair in police custody for four days.

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday on charges of hurting religious sentiments for a tweet that he had posted in March 2018. A magistrate had sent him to police custody for a day.

On Tuesday, the police produced Zubair in the Patiala House court and sought five-day custody of the journalist, according to ANI. The police said that Zubair has been booked in other cases as well and claimed that he was not cooperating in the investigation.

In court, the prosecution said the police need to recover Zubair’s laptop and other devices that were allegedly used to post the tweet, Live Law reported.

Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria agreed to the prosecution’s demand and remanded Zubair in police custody till July 2, saying that he has to be taken to Bengaluru to recover his laptop or other devices.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing on behalf of Zubair, told the court that the image posted by the journalist in his tweet is from a 1983 Hindi film, The Indian Express reported.

“This is an image of a Rishikesh Mukherjee film,” Grover said. “Not a place of worship. This is a joke on the honeymooners.”

Grover also alleged that police want Zubair’s laptop because he is a journalist.

She said that that the complainant’s Twitter handle should be investigated, Live Law reported.

“This was his first tweet,” Grover said. “He digs out a tweet causing no disturbance and disorder. Who is playing mischief here? My client is being targeted. He may be someone who challenges people who are powerful and that can’t be the reason for his arrest.”

Grover also told the court that Zubair had a different phone in 2018, which is now lost, The Indian Express reported.

The public prosecutor said that Zubair had made at least four social media posts that insulted religious sentiments.

“[The] Accused is a journalist and a fact-checker, [but he is] still using these tweets and posting them on Twitter account,” the prosecutor said. “This is a trend to make themselves famous by tweeting material which outrages religious feelings.”

The prosecutor added, “He [Zubair] threatened the investigating officer. His parents have laptop from which data will be deleted.”

The first information report against Zubair was based on a complaint by Delhi Police Sub-Inspector Arun Kumar, who said he was monitoring social media when he came across the March 2018 tweet after a handle named Hanuman Bhakt raised objections.

The handle had posted only one message on the microblogging site until Monday evening and had only three followers.

The handle had taken objection to Zubair’s tweet, showing a hotel signboard with the name “Honeymoon Hotel” repainted to “Hanuman Hotel”. Social media users, however, pointed out that the image Zubair had posted is from a 1983 Hindi film.

‘Zubair’s tweet led to Twitter storm with hate speeches,’ say police

On Tuesday, a Delhi Police official said that the 2018 tweet posted by Zubair had led to a “Twitter storm with hate speeches, detrimental to communal harmony”, PTI reported.

“In such cases, finding the gadget used to post such tweets and the intention behind posting such a tweet is important,” said KPS Malhotra, the deputy commissioner of police (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations). “During questioning, he has been evasive on both the fronts. We found out that his phone was formatted. His evasiveness formed the grounds for his arrest.”

Malhotra added that the fact that the magistrate granted one-day custody on Monday showed that there was “some substance” to the case.

“If someone is booked in several cases it is our right to question him in all,” Malhotra told ANI. “...Calling it [the arrest] politically motivated doesn’t stand right. We will ask for more remand.”