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Arshdeep Row: Zubair Responds to BJP Neta Who Filed Police Complaint Against Him

Zubair has responded to the claims made against him - along with screenshots and links to argue his case.

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On 5 September, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa filed a police complaint against Mohammed Zubair, alleging that the co-founder of Alt News was working for Pakistani handlers when he pointed out how 23-year-old cricketer Arshdeep Singh was being viciously trolled online for dropping a catch against Pakistan.

Late on 7 September, Zubair responded with a detailed thread to the claims made against him - along with screenshots and links to argue his case.

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Sirsa’s Claims and Zubair’s Response

BJP leader Sirsa filed a complaint with the Delhi Police and claimed on Twitter that Zubair "was a part of Pak's conspiracy to defame Sikhs and fuel hate campaign against Sikhs in India."

He even went on to say that Zubair created this "Khalistani" agenda.

Zubair began his response by pointing out the allegations that Sirsa had made.

Counter 1: Zubair pointed out that Sirsa had claimed that he (Zubair) had tweeted the collage (of tweets trolling Arshdeep) "within 2 minutes" and then argued that he wouldn't have been able to do so unless "he was getting WhatsApp from his handlers in Pakistan."

However, the catch was dropped a little after 11 pm. At 11:07 pm, ESPNCricinfo had tweeted about Arshdeep dropping the catch.

Zubair's tweet, as the following timestamp shows, was posted at 12:05 pm, at least 58 minutes after the dropped catch and at least 40 minutes after the match ended (tweeted about by ESPNCricinfo at 11:25 pm).

Interestingly enough, Sirsa's own complaint to the police acknowledges this timestamp - he too has mentioned in the complaint that the tweet by Zubair was posted at 12:05 am.
Zubair has responded to the claims made against him - along with screenshots and links to argue his case.

A copy of Sirsa's complaint

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

How then did Sirsa claim that Zubair tweeted the collage "within 2 minutes"? At best, it was rhetorical and a falsehood. At worst, it was a deliberate falsehood. But it was false either way.
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Counter 2: Zubair then proceeded to show that accounts with a large number of followers, such as @MrSinha_ (over 60,000 followers on Twitter) and @iam_shimorekato (over 8,000 followers on Twitter). Both of them had trolled Arshdeep by calling him a Khalistani.

@MrSinha_ is even followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Smriti Irani on Twitter.

Since Sirsa had claimed that Pakistani bots had been used to post tweets calling Arshdeep a Khalistani, Zubair asked if these accounts too were bots.

Zubair then proceeded to post more examples of accounts which had trolled Arshdeep and called him a Khalistani. Since many of them later deleted their tweets, Zubair questioned the reason behind the deletion and posted archived links of the tweets.

In an article on AltNews, Zubair and his colleague Abhishek Kumar wrote extensively about many of the profiles which called Arshdeep a Khalistani, and pointed out several examples of their old tweets which they argued suggest that they are Indians and not Pakistanis.

Zubair concluded by writing, "Several RW influencers shared only the tweets made by Pakistani accounts, claiming that the tweets criticizing Arshdeep as ‘Khalistani’ after he dropped the catch were part of Pakistani propaganda. Alt News found that these tweets were made by both Indian and Pakistani accounts within the same 11:05 pm to 11:10 pm IST timeframe."

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