Plea Seeks Kappan’s Transfer from Hosp; Kerala CM Writes to UP CM
As per the plea, Kappan had collapsed in the bathroom at the Mathura jail and has tested positive for COVID-19.
An urgent plea submitted before the Chief Justice of India filed by Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan’s lawyer is seeking an urgent transfer of the scribe from the Mathura Medical College to Mathura Jail as his life is in “extreme danger”. Meanwhile, in a first, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also intervened in the matter.
As per the plea filed by Kappan’s lawyer Wills Mathews, the journalist is in critical condition.
“Mr Kappan is chained like an animal to a cot of the Medical College Hospital, Mathura, without mobility, and he neither could take food, nor go to toilet for the last more than four days, and is very critical. If immediate corrective steps are not taken, it will result in his untimely death.[sic.]”
“It is most respectfully prayed to take immediate steps/pass necessary orders to release Mr Sidhique Kappan from the Medical college Hospital back to the Mathura Jail as interim relief, till the disposal of the mentioning application filed on 22.04.2021.[sic.]”
A plea submitted before the Supreme Court on 22 April, by Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), had earlier sought the transfer Siddique Kappan to Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences citing a medical emergency, Bar and Bench reported.
As per the plea, Kappan had collapsed in bathroom at Mathura jail and was tested positive for COVID-19.
It states, “He is presently hospitalized in KM Medical College , Mathura. It is reliably believed that, more than 50 inmates of Mathura Jail are suffering from COVID, with various of scarcities, and even drinking water from toilet, seriously affecting hygiene, health, all leading to a major disaster in the making. In short, as on today , the life of Mr. Sidhique Kappan is in danger for all reasons,” Bar and Bench quoted.
The plea noted that in the background of Kappan's deteriorating health, he should be transferred to AIIMS or Safadrjung Hospital immediately.
Kerala CM Writes to UP CM
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, asking him to take measures to provide expert treatment facilities for the journalist.
“It has come to my attention that Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, presently in custody under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, is facing severe health problems,” CM Pinarayi wrote in the letter.
“It is reported that he is having diabetes and heart ailments. After getting COVID-19, he has been admitted to KVM Hospital, Mathura. He is reportedly being kept chained to his bed even when his health condition is precarious. I request your good self to intervene in the matter so that humane treatment is accorded to Kappan,” Pinarayi Vijayan said.
CM Vijayan also said that expert facilities should be provided to Kappan and that shifting him to a super-speciality hospital, where modern life-saving facilities are ensured, should be seriously considered.
“People in general and the media fraternity in particular are anxious to know about his predicament and humans rights and are very much concerned about his plight. I request you to make sure that he gets all medical facilities,” Vijayan wrote in the letter to Yogi Adityanath.
The Case So Far
Kappan, along with three others, was arrested en route to Hathras in the aftermath of the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl in September 2020, and was charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA and slapped with charges of sedition.
Kappan, who was a reporter for Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and secretary of the KUWJ’s Delhi unit has been lodged in Mathura’s jail since October 2020.
The journalists union has denied the allegations levied on him and expressed that Kappan was tortured in jail. They also approached the Supreme Court in October, on a habeas corpus plea, where they called Kappan's detention "illegal" and asked the UP government to present him in court.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench)
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