On Thursday, the Allahabad Court denied bail to Siddique Kappan, a journalist accused in the Hathras conspiracy case. He was arrested by the UP police on October 5, 2020, along with three others while they were on their way to Hathras.
Who is Siddique Kappan?
Siddique Kappan is a reporter for the Malayalam news portal Azhimukham and also serves as the Secretary of the Delhi Unt of Kerala Union Of Working Journalists (KUWJ). On October 5, 2020, 41-year-old Kappan along with three others namely, Ateeq-Ur-Rehman, Masood Ahmed, and Alam were arrested by the UP police at Hathras Toll Plaza and were taken into custody.
Why was he arrested?
Kappan had traveled to Hathras to report on the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl by Upper caste men. He was slapped with the Anti-Terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or UAPA. Kappan and others were also accused of creating communal disharmony and also has been accused of being linked with the Popular Front of India(PFI). Kappan was also booked under provisions of the Information Technology Act. He is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate over money laundering.
What is the situation now?
The Delhi-based journalist had moved to the High Court after he was denied bail by a Mathura Court in July 2021. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected Kappan’s bail application on the Hathras conspiracy case. A single judge bench of Justice Krishna Pahal, observed “The defense taken by the applicant that he is a journalist and only owing to his professional duty, he wanted to visit the place in Hathras incident stands nullified by the averments in the charge-sheet and documents and the persons he was arrested while traveling in a car. The Court also noted that the journalist had no work in Hathras when he was arrested.
The journalist is currently lodged in Lucknow jail along with three others.