Journo, 3 Others Arrested Enroute Hathras Get 48-Hr UP STF Custody
Advocate Ansar Indori told The Quint that the detention is absolutely illegal.
A Mathura court on Wednesday, 4 November, sent four persons, including a journalist, to 48-hour Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force custody over alleged links to the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Journalist Siddique Kappan, CFI members Atiq-ur Rehman, Masood Ahmed and their driver Alam were held by the UP police on 5 October while they were going to Hathras after the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit woman had garnered national headlines.
The police had claimed, that acting on a tip, they intercepted a car at a toll plaza, after which the four occupants were interrogated and taken into custody.
On 7 October, the UP police had charged Kappan, Rahman, Ahmed, and Alam with sedition and Section 17 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which pertains to punishment for raising funds for a terrorist act.
What the Lawyer Says
The Uttar Pradesh STF will now interrogate them, Ansar Indori, a Human Rights Lawyer, representing the four accused told The Quint.
Indori said that the detention of the four accused is absolutely illegal.
One of the accused's (driver’s) bail was scheduled to be heard on 22 October.
“But, on 21 October, the case was transferred to Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force from the crime branch,” Indori added.
Earlier, the STF had sought two weeks' time to present their reply before the bail hearing and to take the four accused into custody, but their application was rejected, Indori said.
What the Police Says
Mathura police said that during interrogation, it came to the fore that the four had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associate organisation Campus Front of India (CFI).
According to a statement by the police, mobile phones, laptop and some literature were reportedly seized from them.
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