The Bengaluru Police have filed a first information report on a complaint by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair that Twitter users have made death threats and called for mob violence against him, Deccan Herald reported.

The FIR has been against the Twitter handle @Cyber_Huntss and other unnamed accused persons under provisions of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to statements conducive to public mischief, promoting enmity between different groups, criminal intimidation and intentional insult to provoke breach of peace.

However, Zubair also urged the police to name former OpIndia editor Ajeet Bharti in the FIR, saying that he tweeted death threats to him. “Bharti is a serial offender and must be prosecuted,” he said.

The co-founder of the fact-checking website had filed in April a complaint against 15 Twitter handles at Bengaluru’s DJ Halli police station, according to The News Minute. He alleged that the Twitter accounts disclosed his address on social media, sent him death threats and created a feeling of enmity between groups.

Zubair said that on April 9, the Twitter handle @Cyber_Huntss sent him a 400 gram packet of pork through a pet food website during the month of Ramzan. The account had also posted a tweet about the order, which revealed Zubair’s address in Bengaluru. The tweet was later deleted.

“This targeting of my identity is abundantly clear from the specific sending of pork that is not consumed by Muslims,” the Alt News co-founder said. “To send the prohibited meat during the month of Ramzan is to attack me for my religious identity and attack my dignity.”

Zubair also said that the tweet disclosing his address could lead to mob violence against him. “The tweet must be read with the context of the slew of hatred that I have been at the receiving end of since March 2023,” he said.

In the recent past, Zubair has frequently faced online abuse and threats from Hindutva supporters online. In March, several pro-Hindutva influencers had made online threats to him with some even seeking extra-judicial steps against him.

Zubair had then said that tweets by people about “physically harming & finishing me” had increased after Alt News busted fake propaganda about murderous attacks on migrant Bihari workers in Tamil Nadu.

Ajeet Bharti had at the time had tweeted: “The plan is on. This time he will be totally circumcised so much that he’ll need a pipe to urinate.”

Cases against Zubair

The Alt News co-founder is facing six cases in Uttar Pradesh and one case in Delhi in connection with allegations of promoting enmity between groups and hurting religious sentiments.

Zubair was arrested on June 27 by a cyber unit of the Delhi Police on charges of hurting religious sentiments. His tweet contained a still from a 1983 Hindi movie of a signboard repainted from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel”.

An anonymous Twitter user with the handle @balajikijaiin had alleged that the tweet hurt sentiments of the Hindu community.

Zubair was granted bail in the 2018 case on July 15 but he could not be released as the Uttar Pradesh Police had by then filed another FIR against him and the journalist was sent to their custody. Subsequently, the Uttar Pradesh Police opened six investigations against Zubair, including new FIRs and old cases that were revived.

He was finally granted bail in all cases by the Supreme Court and walked free on July 20.

In January, the Delhi Police told the High Court that no criminality was found against Zubair in another case that was filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, or POCSO Act