A court in Uttar Pradesh on Monday issued an externment order against journalist Zakir Ali Tyagi, barring him from entering his home district of Meerut for three months.

The Additional District Magistrate, Meerut, said that Tyagi could disturb law and order situation in the district. The order was passed under the Uttar Pradesh Control of Goondas Act.

The order noted that Tyagi has been booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.

The journalist alleged on Twitter that the court passed the order without listening to his arguments.

“My real crime is doing journalism,” Tyagi said in a tweet on Monday. “It is often said in judicial principles that even if 100 guilty are acquitted, no innocent should be punished. But contrary to this judicial principle, it has been seen that no matter how many innocent people may be punished, but the guilty should not be punished.”

The prosecution had alleged that Tyagi’s involvement in the cow slaughter case makes him a liability to law and order situation in his village. “To let such a person roam freely in the society is a serious threat to security and peace in the village,” the court order said.

On August 25, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested Tyagi for alleged cow slaughter, a crime that carries a sentence of 10 years in prison under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.

The police had filed a first information report against unknown persons on August 23, claiming a farmer in Aminabad alerted them to cow slaughter after he found the hide of a cow in his field.

Two days later, the police arrested Tyagi and another Muslim resident of Aminabad in the case. They had spent 16 days in jail before they were granted bail.

After his release in 2020, Tyagi had denied the cow slaughter charge against him. “I have been targeted for my activism and my political views on social media,” Tyagi had told Scroll.in.

In 2017, Tyagi was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for two of his Facebook posts – one of them a joke about the criminal record of the then newly appointed chief minister Adityanath, who uses the honorific “Yogi”. Tyagi was booked under the Information Technology Act and spent 42 days in jail.