Hours after Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was granted bail by the Supreme Court, his wife, Raihana Siddique, spoke out about how the last two years of his incarceration have been for her and their family.
"I’m really happy. For two years, we have been suffering – mentally, physically, and financially. The Supreme Court granting bail (to my husband), indicating there’s no substance in the case, has come as a huge relief," she said.
"I am Kappan’s wife. He is a journalist, he is innocent, and I am 100 percent confident that he is not the person they claim he is. And that is why I stood my ground with my head held high, that is why I raised my voice. I had that belief, and now it is out in the open."Raihana Siddique, Siddique Kappan's wife
A 'Never Mind' Attitude
When asked how she dealt with the pressure from various quarters over the last two years, she said she maintained a "never mind" attitude.
"People will say things, so I hear it through one ear and push it out the other ear. There have been difficulties, naturally. I am a wife, and our children have also suffered. People have said things about our deceased mother also. But I’m not paying any heed to those comments," she said.
Raihana also expressed her gratitude to those who stood by the couple.
"I hope you (the media) continue to stand by the truth. (Kapil) Sibal sir has been with us since day one and I can’t express in words how thankful I am to him. And Harris sir (Adv Harris Beeran), the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), all my journalist friends – I take this opportunity to thank you all."Raihana Siddique, Siddique Kappan's wife
'UP Govt Tried To Scuttle the Case': Journalist Union
Meanwhile, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) welcomed the bail order and accused the Uttar Pradesh government of trying to delay and scuttle the case.
"The UP Police and certain people tried to portray Mr Kappan as a terrorist and tried all methods to deny him bail. The UP Police and the UP Government always tried to delay and scuttle the case even at the stage when the KUWJ approached the Supreme Court with a Habeas Corpus petition for Mr Kappan's release," it said in a statement.
"False complaints were filed against KUWJ members, who were fighting for Mr Kappan. Even Mr Kappan's wife, Raihana, was not spared as she was attacked on social media for fighting for her husband's release," it added.
Kappan was arrested in October 2020 while he was on his way to Hathras, where a young Dalit woman had died after allegedly being gang-raped. He was booked for allegedly trying to incite riots.
The Uttar Pradesh government accused him of having "deep links" with the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and claimed he was part of a larger conspiracy to "incite religious discord and spread terror."
The Supreme Court on Friday, 9 September, granted him bail.
"Every person has a right to free expression. He is trying to show that (Hathras) victim needs justice and to raise a common voice. Will this be a crime in eyes of law?" the apex court asked during the hearing, according to Bar and Bench.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)