Journalist, Campus Front leaders arrested on their way to Hathras, colleagues approach UP CM for release

Siddique Kappan of Malappuram (left), Alam of Rampur (middle top) Atiq-ur Rehman of Muzaffarnagar (middle bottom) and Masood Ahmed of Bahraich (right).

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists has approached Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking to immediately release Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, taken into custody by the Uttar Pradesh police from Hathras toll plaza.

Siddique Kappan, secretary of KUWJ Delhi unit and a senior Delhi-based journalist working for several Malayalam media houses including azhimukham.com, had gone to Hathras on Tuesday morning to report.

“Kappan was trying to do his duty as a reporter,” said a letter to the Chief Minister by KUWJ Delhi Unit president Miji Jose.

The letter said efforts to contact the journalist were unsuccessful.

“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,” reads the letter.

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh police had arrested four people, said to have links with Islamic organization Popular Front of India (PFI) and its students’ wing Campus Front of India (CFI), at Mathura while they were on their way to Hathras from Delhi. The four were in a car and identified themselves as Atiq-ur Rehman of Muzaffarnagar, Siddique Kappan of Malappuram, Masood Ahmed of Bahraich, and Alam of Rampur.

Atikur Rahman, National Treasurer of CFI, Masood Ahmed, CFI Delhi General Secretary, and Alam were the part of Campus Front delegation to Hathras, said Sajid Bin Sayed, National President of Campus Fron of India.

“Denying justice to the girl who brutally rape-murdered by casteist men is lawful in UP while meeting a bereaved family and offering solidarity to their fight for justice is a crime. Campus Front leaders did not violate any law but stand with justice,” he said.