Arrested journalist Siddique Kappan was beaten thrice and subjected to mental torture during custody, alleged the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), in its rejoinder affidavit before the Supreme Court.
Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan has been under custody under draconian UAPA charges since his arrest on 5 October by the Uttar Pradesh police while he was on his way to report the Hathras rape case.
Affidavit said Kappan’s lawyer Wills Mathew visited Mathura Jail on 21 November for 30 minutes and had a conference with Kappan and “was shocked to hear that Mr. Kappan was beaten with lathi three times on his thigh, slapped three times after taking out spectacles, dragged, forced to stay awake from 6pm to 6am depriving him of the sleep, without proper medicines, along with serious mental torture from 5.10.2020 to 6.10.2020.”
According to KUWJ, Kappan’s detention is ‘unlawful, illegal, mala fide, and constitutes a misuse of criminal law.”
Kappan, secretary of KUWJ Delhi Unit has been working for several Malayalam media houses including azhimukham.com.
It also has raised concerns about Kappan’s health.
“Kappan is a diabetic and was on medication, was denied medicines,” it alleged.
Demanding judicial inquiry
Appealing an immediate intervention by the Supreme Court, the journalists’ body has sought a judicial enquiry into the matter.
“The interest of justice and ends of justice requires that this Hon’ble court to appoint a retired judge of this Hon’ble court to conduct a judicial inquiry with a request to submit the report within 30 days, failing which, it will seriously affect the confidence of the people in the legal system,” reads affidavit.
Exposing UP government’s false claims
Journalist body’s rejoinder affidavit also exposed the false information in the counter affidavit filed by Uttar Pradesh government.
“The counter affidavit stated that, the accused is the office secretary of Popular Front of India, which is again an absolute false and incorrect statement made by the Respondent. The Respondent is put to strict proof of the said allegation,” it said.