Unlike earlier months, jailed Malayali journalist Siddique Kappan is no more ‘hopeful’ in his calls to his wife Raihanth Kappan. He has been rumbling about ‘dying in prison,’ making Raihanath ‘extremely worried’.
“One day he admitted he needs help but it’s not available,” Raihanath told Maktoob. “Ever since his mother’s death, he has been in despair”.
On 18 June this year, Siddique Kappan’s mother, Khadeeja Kutty, 90, died after weeks on deathbed asking for “Bava”.
Kappan didn’t apply for interim bail to attend the funeral under the impression he would get bail in the next hearing listed a few days later. Raihanath says it was due to his ‘faith in judiciary.’
“That bail rejection has taken a toll on him. He was never been so broken.”
Siddique Kappan was arrested in October while travelling from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh to cover the caste rape and killing of a 19-year Dalit woman in Hathras.
Kappan, along with six Muslim youth, were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly instigating violence and defaming India after Hathras killing.
On Tuesday, a local court in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh has rejected the Uttar Pradesh Police application seeking a nod to conduct a further probe against Kappan. In its plea to the court, the Special Task Force had said Kappan’s Delhi residence was raided on November 11 last year, during which a booklet of the Banned organisation, SIMI, with some handwritten remarks on its was found.
The booklet had been sent to the Agra forensic laboratory to match Kappan’s handwriting to the words on the book but the laboratory in its report on June 21 this year has said the two handwritings did not match, the STF’s plea read.
Additionally, an application was also filed for default bail under section 167 (2) CrPC and the court sought the response of the police in this regard.
“They are not letting us have the charge sheet. How will we fight the case without knowing what are the allegations against him” asks Raihanath.
She claims that jail authorities have been constantly telling him that he will not get bail for the next five years — which is taking a toll on him. “He finds himself helpless.”
Kappan has complained to the court that he is denied medical treatment despite the specific directions of the Supreme Court.
The court has sought a report from the jail authorities on 23 August.
Recently court dropped the proceedings under charges related to the apprehension of breach of peace against Kappan and the other three accused of travelling to Hathras.
“I want to meet him’
“I want to meet him in person. I am willing to travel but the police won’t let me citing COVID restrictions,” she explains. In May after Kappan was COVID-19 positive and directed to be treated in AIIMS Hosptial in Delhi, Raihanath and their elder son flew to Delhi to meet him but was stopped by authorities.
“I can’t bear it anymore,” laments Rihanath saying her ‘position’ in the crisis is unexplainable.
“We have not received the charge sheet yet. Isn’t it the law,” Kappan’s lawyers have moved an application to access the charge sheet filed on 3 April.
Kappan was broke his tooth during the inhumane treatment in the initial days when he was shifted to a Mathura hospital in April where ‘he was chained to the bed’. After several complaints, a dentist was allowed to look at him last week, who has conveyed “it was out of his hands.”
“He is not eating anything. He feels everyone is letting him down,” says the mother of three.
Kappan was arrested amidst the construction of his house. Siddique kappan was a leader of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Delhi chapter.
“I have to meet him somehow. I fear I might lose him,” she added.