Journalist Siddique Kappan: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of journalist SiddiqueKappan, who was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the Hathras conspiracy case. A single bench of Justice Krishna Pahal passed the rejection order on Thursday.
Allahabad High Court Denied Bail plea of Siddique Kappan
Earlier, on August 2, the bench had reserved its order after concluding the arguments of the accused and the state’s counsel.
Siddique Kappan’s bail plea was rejected by a Mathura court, after which he approached the High Court.
Siddique Kappan, a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azimukham and secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), was arrested along with three others in Uttar Pradesh in October 2020 when he was on his way to Hathras to report on the gang. Were – Rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.
The police had claimed that the accused were trying to disturb law and order in Hathras. He had also alleged that the accused had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The woman had died in a Delhi hospital on September 14, 2020, a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four men from her village. His last rites were performed at midnight in his village.
His family members claimed that the last rites, which took place after midnight, were without their consent and they were not allowed to bring the body home for the last time.
Siddique Kappan and others under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and Section 295A (intentional and malicious acts intended to the charges were framed under sections 17 and 18 of the Act. Section 65, 72 and 75 of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for hurting religious sentiments).
Journalist Siddique Kappan
But on Saturdays, Siddique Kappan calls his wife daily and inquires about the family. The duration of time allotted to him to communicate with his family is five minutes.
“During telephone conversations, sometimes his voice is hopeful, but other days he becomes depressed,” Rehanath said.
There have been more deaths in the family after his mother’s death. He said some were brought to his notice while others were not disclosed.
Rehnath is saddened that no political leader in Kerala has come forward to extend his support to Kappan.
“When I met the chief minister, he said that he cannot do anything in this matter. He can only express concern,” she recalled.
“We feel helpless. I move with the help of prayers,” she said.
Kappan and Rahanth have three children; Two sons and one daughter.
Rehnath said that she is sending them to school.
“When they are in school, they should at least get some relief,” she said.
Kappan, 41, a Delhi-based regular contributor to Malayalam news outlet Azeemukham, was arrested along with a few others on October 5 last year while on his way to Hathras to report on the brutal gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl upper caste men.
Kappan and three others, Ateeq-ur-Rehman, Masood Ahmed and Alam were traveling in a car when they were stopped and detained by the UP Police at Hathras toll plaza.
He was accused of planning to ‘harass’ and booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other penal provisions.
The UP Police’s claim that Kappan has links with the Popular Front of India (PFI), considered an extremist Islamist organisation, has been vehemently denied by the KUWJ. Kappan is the office bearer of the Delhi unit of KUWJ. The Adityanath-led BJP government in UP claims that the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were funded by the PFI.