Congress MP from Kerala T. N. Prathapan on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the release of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, booked under draconian UAPA by the Uttar Pradesh police.
“The news coming from Uttar Pradesh that a Malayalam Journalist has been arrested and charged under UAPA by UP Police is disappointing,” MP said.
Siddique Kappan, senior Delhi-based journalist was arrested on 5 October, a day after he was stopped on the way to Hathras, the home town of the Dalit woman who died after being gang-raped by upper-caste Hindu men.
The First Information Report (FIR) filed against Kappan and three others including leaders of students organization Campus Front of India shows that they have been booked under charges including draconian UAPA and sedition.
“Hon’ble PM, I must say that this is an alarming situation that the freedom of the free press has been questioned by a state. It is not acceptable that a reporter is arrested and kept in custody and even charged under UAPA for doing his job. Is there any decision in the country that free press has been banned?” Congress politician and MP from Thrissur asked.
Prathapan further said that it was because of the casteism of the UP government and immoral actions of UP Police, Hathras case became a challenging one for the Yogi government.
“To solve this, an unbiased investigation and protection for the victim’s family were needed. Instead of this, Ajay Singh Bisht targeting media persons and activists. We must remind ourselves that we’re not living in a regime of Hitler or Mussolini or Stalin. I truly wonder whether the Uttar Pradesh government is following Manusmnti instead of the Constitution of India,” Prathapan wrote in the letter.
Congress MP urged PM Narendra Modi to intervene in this issue and ensure Siddique Kappan’s immediate and unconditional release by revoking all the charges against him.
Siddique Kappan is currently pursuing as a secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists Delhi unit and working for several Malayalam media houses including azhimukham.com.