Kerala Union of Working Journalists has filed a Habeas Corpus Petition in Supreme Court to produce Journalist Sidhique Kappan, who has allegedly been taken in custody by the Uttar Pradesh Police near Hathras. According to information available so far, there is no news of Sidhique Kappan, who is a Delhi-based Journalist working with a Malayalam news portal Azhimukham. He is also secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists Delhi unit, and a senior reporter. He had gone to cover the Hathras horror of the alleged gangrape, and murder of the 19-year old Dalit woman.
Modi-Yogi plan is clear. Make the rape and murder of a Dalit girl to a Hindu-Muslim issue. That is the reason to arrest a Muslim journalist from Kerala. https://t.co/wnB29R0wOM
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) October 6, 2020
This is the statement that the Kerala Union of Working Journalists issued on Tuesday:
Mr. Siddique Kappan, secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists Delhi unit, and a senior Delhi based journalist working for several Malayalam media houses, including azhimukham.com, had gone to Hathras on Monday morning to cover the present situation in the area.
We understand that he was taken into police custody by Uttar Pradesh police from Hathras toll plaza. Our efforts and the efforts by some advocates based in Delhi to contact him were not successful.
The Hathras Police Station and the State Police department has not provided any information so far on taking him into custody.
Mr. Kappan was trying to do his duty as a reporter.
We urge you to get him released at the earliest.
Thanks and Regards
According to the news report, Mathura police claim “suspicious literature, one that could have an adverse impact on peace,” was recovered from the four men. However, police are yet to reveal the content of the literature or what laws were violated, stated the news report, adding that the police statement did not acknowledge that Kappan is a journalist. Police have claimed that the four in custody were linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its student body Campus Front of India. In December 2019 the UP government had alleged PFI involvement in vandalism in the State when the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) were underway across India.
The Hindu reported that the Delhi-based journalist was among four people arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police when they were on their way to Hathras. These are the latest arrests, after the State police claimed that a “conspiracy to defame the State government and trigger caste riots over the Hathras incident” was afoot. The four were taken into custody at a toll plaza in Mathura when they were travelling in a car from Delhi to Hathras, reported The Hindu. The car was stopped after “police found their activities suspicious,” following which they were taken into custody, added the Mathura police according to the news report. The four are: Ateeq-ur-Rehman, Siddiqui Kappan, Masood Ahmed and Alam.
The president of the KUWJ state committee Thiruvananthapuram, KP Reji, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking Kappan’s immediate release. “Our relentless efforts to contact him were in vain. The Hathras Police Station and the State Police department has not provided any information so far on taking him into custody,” The Hindu quoted Reji’s letter to the PM. Azhimukham editor KN Ashok, said Kappan was a regular contributor and on October 5, he had messaged that he was going to report from Hathras. “That is the only information we got from him,” Ashok told The Hindu, adding that there was no response when they tried to contact Kappan in the evening. They learned later that he was in UP police’s custody, adding that the police did not inform them about the arrest.
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