Former Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University, professor, Prof Roop Rekha Verma, has volunteered to stand as surety to fulfil the court conditions for Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan following the bail granted by the Supreme Court in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case. Ten days after the Supreme Court granted bail to the journalist, no one else from Uttar Pradesh had so far, come forward to stand surety for Kerala scribe.
On September 9, the Supreme Court had granted bail to Kappan while underscoring that “every citizen has the right to free expression”.
A late night tweet on Tuesday announced this development.
Former Lucknow Varsity VC Roop Rekha Verma. At the age of 79 she has volunteered to stand as surety to fulfill the court condition for release of Siddique Kappan in UAPA case. Bail condition required 2 UP natives but no one in Yogi land was willing. pic.twitter.com/jSnHDvRD70
— binu karunakaran (@litemeter) September 20, 2022
Kappan who was arrested on his way to Hathras in September 2020 to report on the incident of the gang-rape and death of a Dalit girl, has been in jail for nearly two years.
Despite this welcome development, he will still not walk free as on Monday, the sessions court in Lucknow rejected his bail plea in another case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) lodged against him by the ED.
Prof Verma said: “I am not completely aware of the details of Kappan’s case, but it looks that opening mouth is a serious crime. He was heading to cover a crime incident in Hathras, but the scribe is arrested and suddenly serious offences Acts and sections such as UAPA, money laundering are slapped on him. Further, he becomes suspected of having links with notorious outfits. “Such back-to-back developments to tighten the noose create doubts in citizens like me, and it seems that action against Kappan is motivated. “I may be proven wrong if Kappan is indeed found guilty by court, but still at this moment, his right to bail cannot be suppressed.”
Roop Rekha Verma is also one of the three petitioners challenging the premature release of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. Subhashini Ali and Revati Lal are the others.