Kerala Journalist Siddique Kappan Moves Mathura Court for Bail

The bail plea said, “The facts stated in the FIR are fabricated, concocted, and manipulated.” 

2 min read
 Siddique Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was arrested while he was on his way to Hathras in 2020. 

Kerala-based journalist, Siddique Kappan, has moved a bail application before the Mathura District Court emphasising that there is nothing connecting him to the alleged offences other than the allegations made against him.

The bail plea said, “The facts stated in the FIR are fabricated, concocted, and manipulated. The foundation of this FIR is ‘media reports’ as evident from the contents of the FIR itself,” Bar & Bench reported.

The bail application states that keeping him in jail on the strength of UAPA is “nothing but a misuse of its provisions, more particularly when there is no iota of evidence or recovery against the accused even in the charge sheet”, LiveLaw reported.

The UP Police on 4 April had filed a charge sheet of about 5,000 pages in a Mathura court against eight people allegedly associated with Popular Front of India (PFI), including journalist Siddiqui Kappan.

Some Background

Uttar Pradesh Police had picked up Kappan on 5 October last year, when he was on his way to west UP’s Hathras to report on the case of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped by four men before succumbing to her injuries.

The police have claimed that Kappan was on his way with a “very determined design to create caste divide and disturbing the law and order situation” in the area. That he, and the three others arrested with him, have links to the Popular Front of India (PFI), which is not a banned organisation in India but is often referred to as a successor to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

He and his lawyers have maintained that he was going to report on the case as a freelance journalist. “He is not a member of the PFI,” his lawyer Mathews said.

He has been lodged in a jail in Mathura and his wife has repeatedly told the media that Kappan was regularly tortured and abused while in their custody.

Kappan was found to be COVID positive on 21 April. Later, as his health deteriorated, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) moved the Supreme Court seeking his transfer to AIIMS or another government hospital in Delhi.

On 28 April, the top court had directed the UP government to move Kappan to a Delhi hospital. However, Kappan was released from AIIMS soon after and taken back to UP jail.

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