TN CM Stalin confers state 'communal harmony award' on Mohammed Zubair

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Mohammed Zubair

Chennai: Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday presented the state government's award for promotion of communal harmony to fact-checker Mohammed Zubair in recognition of his contribution in prevention of violence by debunking claims in social media that migrant workers were under attack in Tamil Nadu.

Co-founder of AltNews, Zubair was presented the award by Stalin at the 75th Republic Day celebrations here. The government said in March 2023, claims were made in social media that "migrant workers were being attacked in Tamil Nadu."

After verifying the authenticity of the video clips that made such claims, Zubair made it amply clear in AltNews that such claims were false and such attacks did not take place in Tamil Nadu at all.

"Thus, he stopped the spread of rumours against Tamil Nadu and acted to prevent violence caused by caste, religion, race and language," in the state, the government said in the citation.

"In appreciation of the services rendered by him in maintenance of communal harmony, Thiru Mohammed Zubair is presented with the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award for the year 2024."

Manish Kashyap, who was arrested in March this year for making "fake video" of attacks on migrant workers from Bihar in Tamil Nadu, is currently lodged in Patna's Beur jail in judicial custody after spending months in a prison in the southern state.

Further, the government said that he has been rendering various services to 'promote communal harmony' which is contrary to what Zubair does on X, formerly Twitter. 

Zubair has been criticised for instigating people for violence through his biased posts on social media. He was also arrested by Delhi Police and is currently out on bail.

The Tamil Nadu government instituted the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award in the year 2000 for nurturing communal harmony.

It is being given to a person belonging to the state in recognition of outstanding services in building harmony. The award carries a medal, a cash component of Rs 25,000 and a certificate honouring the services. The government said Zubair is a resident of Denkanikottai taluka of Krishnagiri district.