Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan Gets Bail After 2 Years In UP Jail

Siddique Kappan
Siddique Kappan

In a money laundering case, Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, arrested on terror charges while reporting on a Dalit woman’s rape and murder two years ago, got bail today.

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He’d already gotten bail in the terror case — filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other related laws — from the Supreme Court in September, but stayed in jail in Lucknow because he hadn’t been released from a related case filed by the Enforcement Directorate.

This month, a court in Lucknow framed charges against him and six others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), so the trial could finally start. KA Rauf Sherif, Atikur Rahman, Masud Ahmad, Mohammad Alam, Abdul Razzak, and Ashraf Khadir are also accused.

Police say these men are members of the Popular Front of India and its student wing, Campus Front of India (CFI). According to the PFI, he went to Hathras to spread communal discord on the orders of the PFI.

Siddique Kappan and his lawyers have denied involvement in terror acts or financing, saying he was just there for journalism.

When the Supreme Court granted him bail in the terror case three months ago, opposition parties and journalists celebrated. UP’s BJP government made Mr Kappan a “soft target” because he’s Muslim.

On the way to Hathras, Mr Kappan and three co-accused – Atikur Rehman, Mohammad Alam and Masud Ahmad – were arrested by the UP police in Mathura in October 2020.

It was days after a Dalit woman there died after being gang-raped. The district administration cremated her in the middle of the night, sparking protests and widespread condemnation of Yogi Adityanath’s BJP government.

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