NEW DELHI: The Congress hit out at the ruling BJP on Tuesday over the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and said the "coward" government is sending out a message to those who expose its "fake news".
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said without getting into the legalities, the big message by the BJP-led Centre is that the perpetrators of hate speeches would get political patronage and will be out either on bail or otherwise, and people who report that will be behind bars.
She said those spreading hate are becoming leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while those speaking out against their hate are being put behind bars.
"This is nothing but a message from a coward government, telling people and trying to send a message to others that if you do this, this is where you will end up," Shrinate said.
The Congress leader said Zubair was bringing the truth to people and reporting hate speeches whenever such statements were made.
"He was busting your fake news racket. You may try and silence one person, but there are thousand others who will speak," she said.
Shrinate also appealed to large sections of the media to stand up for one of its own.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi earlier said arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more.
Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets, officials said.
Gandhi alleged that every person exposing the BJP's hate and bigotry is a threat to the saffron party, while asserting that the truth will prevail.
"Every person exposing BJP's hate, bigotry and lies is a threat to them. Arresting one voice of truth will only give rise to a thousand more," he wrote on Twitter.
"Truth always triumphs over tyranny," the former Congress chief said, using the hashtag "#DaroMat".
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