A 5,000-page chargesheet has been filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police against Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested under draconian UAPA in October 2020 while travelling from Delhi to report on the aftermath of the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit woman by upper caste Hindu men from UP’s Hathras.
Besides Kappan, Campus Front of India leaders Atiq-ur-Rehman and Masood Ahmad and cab driver Alam, whom were arrested with Kappan last year and Campus Front of India national general secretary Rauf Sharif and Mohammad Danish, Feroz Khan, and Asad Badruddin who were arrested later, have been named in the chargesheet filed by the UP special task force (STF).
They all face face charges under the draconian UAPA, IT Act and other serious charges for alleged conspiracy to create communal tension.
They all are currently lodged in a Mathura jail.
“We have not yet received a copy of the chargesheet. It’s about 5,000 pages. Once we officially get a copy, we will study it and decide our course of action,” Kappan’s lawyer Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi told reporters outside the court in Mathura.
The Mathura Additional District Judge and Sessions Court has posted the matter for the next hearing on May 1.
Kappan, a freelance reporter who has covered politics, crime, and current affairs for Malayalam-language news outlets including Azhimukham, Thejas Daily and Thalsamayam Midday Daily, is also the secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.
Following the UP Police’s arbitrary arrests, global journalist unions, Opposition leaders, and national and international rights organisations condemned the arrest of Kappan and others and demanded their immediate release.
Kappan’s wife Raihanath had held multiple protests ever since he got arrested by the UP police, seeking justice for him.