‘He Wasn’t Given Food for 24 Hours Again’: Sidhique Kappan’s Wife
Mathura jail superintendent denied the allegations and said, “He also says he is innocent! Let him say whatever.”
On the same day that UAPA accused and Kerala-based journalist, Sidhique Kappan, was brought to Mathura district court for production while the 5,000 page charge sheet was submitted by UP Police, he was not given food for at least 24 hours, his family and lawyer have alleged to The Quint.
We spoke to his wife, 37-year-old Raihanath Sidhique, who said that this is not the first time this has happened. We also reached out to his lawyer, Wils Mathews, who said they are moving an application in court to ensure this does not happen again. “Right to life is everything, once that is gone everything is gone,” Mathews said.
The Mathura Jail Superintendent Shailendra Kumar Maitreya denied all the allegations to this reporter and said that he was 100 percent sure that Kappan was lying. “He also says he is innocent, right? Let him say whatever,” he said.
In the charge sheet Kappan and seven others have been charged under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and 295A (outraging sentiments), Section 17 of the stringent anti-terror law called UAPA (punishment for raising funds for a terrorist act) and relevant sections of the IT Act.
The UP Police claim that he was part of a conspiracy to disrupt peace in UP’s Hathras district after a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang raped by four men before succumbing to her injuries. His lawyers have maintained that he was going to report.
‘His Mouth Dries Up, Body Shivers’: Kappan’s Wife
Explaining how he was not given food, Raihanath, who has completed her school education and done a course as a lab technician, said, “You’re given food in the jail three times, once in the morning around 7:30 am, but that is only tea and some bun and peas, then at 11:00 am and 5:00 pm. After being fed on 1 April at 5:00 pm, Kappan was not fed till late around 6:00 pm the next day. They brought him to court on 2 April morning without feeding him anything or procuring food for him.”
She gets to speak to her husband every day for 2 minutes, which is when their three children, two sons and one girl, also get to speak to their father some times.
In the conversation that they had on 3 April morning, after he was produced in court, she said Kappan was not well.
“His sugar levels were high. When this happens his mouth goes very dry, his body becomes weak, and he starts shivering. His medication will not work if he is not given food on time. Already the food given lacks the vitimans and nutrients, even if that is not given how will it work? He does not express himself to us as openly, so there might be more he is feeling and not telling,” she said.
She also said this is allegedly happening for the second time now, “The last time they had not even given him water.” Raihanath has taken the matter up with the lawyer, she said. Mathews confirmed what Raihanath said and added, “Yes, that is correct this has happened before as well. He was denied food for 24 hours when he is a diabetic patient. These are issues concerning the life of a person, major issues for a diabetic patient. Right to life is everything, once that is gone everything is gone.”
In the conversation she had with Kappan on 5 April, she said Kappan told her he continued to feel unwell. “He is not alright, his sugar levels continue to be high,” she said.
Mathura Jail Superintendent Says Kappan is Lying
"Food is given around 7:00 am, 11:30 am morning and 5:00 pm in the evening in the jail. For those who are going to court, the food is prepared and given to them earlier at 10:00 am," Mathura Jail Superintendent Shailendra Kumar Maitreya told The Quint. He said he had not heard of the issue verbally or in writing till now.
When told the lawyers of the accused are planning to file an application, he said, “Let them do that, then according to court procedure we will also get a chance in front of the judge.” He said Kappan can make all the allegations he wants but he was certain that Kappan was lying.
“I can say with certainty that the accused is lying. 100 percent he is lying. You tell me, he is also saying that he is innocent? So? He is saying things. Him saying anything does not mean anything,” he added.
Maitreya said there are 1700 people in the jail who are fed food thrice a day. Once around 7:30 am, when there is tea with buns or channa, then there is food around 11:00 am and 5:00 pm where there is roti and daal (bread and lentisl). He also added that once a week the secretary of the district legal services authority visiting to ensure that no prisoner is facing any nature of issues.
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