Jailed journalist Siddique Kappan's mother Khadeeja Kutty has passed away, his lawyer Wills Mathews confirmed on Friday, 18 June.
Back in February this year, the Supreme Court had granted five-day interim bail to Kappan to visit his ailing mother, who was 90-years-old at the time, in Kerala.
The Uttar Pradesh had arrested Kappan, along with three others in October 2020, while they were en route to Hathras. He was travelling to cover the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit woman that had, at the time, stirred the conscience of the entire nation.
The police claimed that Kappan was going to Hathras with a "very determined design to create caste divide and disturb the law and order situation" and that he had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI).
‘Want Justice, Still Have Faith in Constitution’
On Tuesday, the Mathura Court dropped proceedings against Kappan and three other co-accused in the first FIR that had been registered against them on 5 October. This was not the FIR where the police has charged them under sections of UAPA, sedition, etc, but the one registered a day before for the apprehension for breach of peace.
Addressing the media for the first time science the arrest on Tuesday, Kappan said, “Justice chahiye. Mujhe abhi bhi hamare samvidhan mein bharosa hai (Want Justice. I still have faith in the Constitution)... But this is a fake case. Justice delayed, justice delayed.”
The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and Kappan’s wife have been fighting for his release since October 2020, iterating and reiterating assertions of his innocence.
Kappan had tested positive for COVID in April. He was first admitted to a Mathura hospital, but post his family and KUWJ’s allegations at the Supreme Court of the journalist being chained to a hospital bed, he was shifted to AIIMS Delhi.
Soon after, he was discharged from AIIMS and shifted back to Mathura Central Jail without informing his lawyer or his family.