Siddique Kappan “only and only reports to incite Muslims,” says UP STF in chargesheet

Delhi-based Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, who has been jailed under draconian UAPA since October 2020, “only and only reports to incite Muslims”, the UP Special Task Force (STF) is learnt to have stated in the chargesheet filed against him in the Hathras conspiracy case.

Kappan is a freelance reporter who has covered politics, crime, and current affairs for Malayalam-language news outlets including Thejas Daily, Thalsamayam Midday Daily, Azhimukham news portal. Kappan is also the secretary of the Delhi chapter of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.

The 5,000-page chargesheet highlights portions from 36 articles written by Kappan for a Malayalam media house — on the Nizamuddin Markaz gathering after the coronavirus outbreak, protest against CAA, anti-Muslim pogrom in northeast Delhi, the Ram temple in the site of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and the charge sheet against Muslim student activist Sharjeel Imam who was jailed on sedition and UAPA charges, reports Indian Express.

The newspaper also reported that the police in BJP ruling state claimed that Kappan did not write like a “responsible” journalist and “sympathise with Maoists and Communists.”

“In the writing, the Muslims have been portrayed as victims (who) were beaten up by police and were asked to go to Pakistan. It is evident from the writing that it has been done to incite Muslims,” read a note in the chargesheet, referring to one of the news stories written by Kappan during the CAA protests in Aligarh Muslim University.

The claims of UP STF continue: “These writings of Siddique Kappan, to a great extent, can be classified as communal. During riots, taking the name of a minority and talking about events related to them can incite sentiments. Responsible journalists do not do such communal reporting. Kappan only and only reports to incite Muslims, which is a hidden agenda of PFI (Popular Front of India). Some stories were written to sympathise with Maoists and Communists.”

According to Indian Express, the news stories are part of data obtained from Kappan’s laptop after it had been sent to the forensic laboratory.

The chargesheet even claims that Kerala journalist worked as a “think tank” of the Popular Front of India.

Kappan was attempting to publish “anti-Hindu” stories in the Malayalam media and had plans to inflame the Delhi riots, according to the UP police. He tried to hide the death of Intelligence Bureau officer Ankit Sharma and head constable Ratan Lal, and downplayed the alleged role of suspended AAP councilor Tahir Hussain, in the Delhi riots, the 5,000-pagecharge sheet highlights.

On October 5, at a toll plaza at the entrance to Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh, UP police arrested Kappan and two Muslim student leaders and a Delhi-based cab driver with whom he was traveling. Kappan was on his way from New Delhi to Hathras to cover a caste-based rape and killing of a Dalit woman that had sparked nationwide protests. They were booked under UAPA and on charges of sedition. Three more Muslim youth were arrested by UP police in the same case under draconian charges. All are in UP jail now.

“Not received the chargesheet’: Kappan’s family

Meanwhile, Kappan’s family said to Maktoob that they didn’t get a copy of the chargesheet even after six months of filing it.

“We have not received the chargesheet,” Raihanath, wife of Siddique Kappan told Maktoob on Friday.

Raihanath had held multiple protests ever since he got arrested by the UP police, seeking justice for him.